Amanda Houston

Lifestyle, Motherhood, Travel & everything in between

I’m a mom to an adorable babe, married to my best friend, Hunter, and love working with brands and products I really use and love! We reside in the PNW, Oregon Wine Country, and enjoy all it has to offer.

This is a place for me to share a little of my day to day life with you. It may not be the fanciest, but it’s definitely real! Just a normal, busy mom here sharing honest reviews, tips, and ideas. You’ll find a mix of style inspo, great deals, recipes, healthly living, travel, motherhood, and everything in between.

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For collabs, partnerships, and gifting please email me at: [email protected]

Lunya

Since becoming a mom, I’ve found I appreciate the finer things in life. It’s the little things that seem to make a big difference. Let’s stop battling to get out of those comfy pjs or loungewear. Or maybe, its not so much getting out of them but staying in them and still feeling confident when an unexpected guest stops by. But really, let’s just feel good and confident regardless if anyone is watching.

Washable Silk

Naturally thermoregulating silk made with bluesign®-approved dyes that you can throw right into the washing machine. Go ahead, break up with your dry cleaner.

Use Code GIFT-AMANDA20 for $20 OFF

Cozy Cotton Silk

A lightweight, organic cotton sweater knit that works between the sheets and the seasons

See the look

Travel

Unico

When we went to this adults-only, all-inclusive resort it was only two years old. Since then, the raves, reviews, and popular opinion about this trendy luxury resort has become even more of a thing. Did we love it? Would we go again? Most importantly, is it $$$$worth it?? Read below!

The Pros

Owned by AIC Hotel Group, a United State’s company specializing in luxury all-inclusive resorts, with UNICO 20˚87˚ Hotel Riviera Maya being one of their international establishments. What does that mean? They know what the highest maintenance American vacationer is looking for when we say “luxury”. This includes all the expectations that come with food standards, cleanliness and hospitably.

You get a personal concierge upon arrival that you can text (WhatsApp).

The entertainment nights were great! Game nights, salsa dancing, etc. The host for these night was super outgoing, fun, and really enthusiastic.

Food was really really good. Not only that, but we were fortunate to attend when the resort hosted Michelin Star Chefs. For me, this was probably enough to make the trip totally worth it. We ate meals from two Michelin Star Chefs, one from Chicago, and one from Spain. It was an incredible experience.

Food allergy accommodation card. My husband has celiac disease and was given a laminated card that stated he was gluten free to give to the wait staff every time we went to a restaurant or even when we ordered poolside.

The Cons

We got a dud when it came to our concierge. Nice but non responsive and no follow through.

Housekeeping, though nice and did very good job, was hard to communicate with. And I tried to whip out my spanglish - which is not that good. Sometimes we’d still be in the room, they’d come by, we’d ask them to come back later, but they didn’t understand us. For us, we like to have our room turned down because hi, vacation. (Yes we reached out to our concierge for assistance). Advice: brush up on your basic Spanish around housekeeping vocab.

Bar tender - there was an off day where the bar tender at one of the swim-up pools was having a bad day. Unfortunately, it was intense enough to ruin the vibe and stick in my mind as a negative.

Although the food quality was extremely high, and food practices was raved about, it’s always a good reminder to be prepared when traveling to a different country with different food prep standards and food prep practices - no matter where you’re staying. When traveling to Mexico, hey sometimes it’s the water, sometimes its the food prep, but unfortunately, we did get sick after attending a hibachi dinner. Which, I actually remember noting that he used the same knife to cut the raw chicken and then he used to cut the veggies. I should have just passed on the dish but I wasn’t trying to be that person or that American food snob. Luckily, my husband brought some meds that our doctor prescribed because we let our doctors know ahead of our trip that were going to travel to Mexico. Advice: go to the doctors, let them know you’re going to be traveling to Mexico and get some meds just in case! The resort has some medicine on site but to see the resort doctor and get medicine, we were quoted $300+.

The in-between (not necessarily a pro or con)

Signature Tours and Outings get booked up really fast so getting this secured even before your arrival is recommended. This was hard for me to think about ahead of time because I didnt know if I wanted to block off a whole day or whole evening since I wanted to experience the dining and entertainment on the resort. The tours and adventures they offer vary on pricing depending on the type of outing. We did do a Tulum tour, which was super fun and really beautiful. We got to see the Tulum Ruins and climb the Coba Ruins.

Spa services - The spa is advertised as a part of the all-inclusive amenities, however, there is a 25% service fee (it was only 20% when we went), which most services are about $300-400 so you’re paying about $100 depending on the service. So, I wouldn’t necessarily say its “included”. The spa is very beautiful and very worth it though. I’d suggest making at least one reservation.

Loud vacationers - ok just like the movies we had this obnoxious couple who were there to make friends, not relax. They were also on their honeymoon and were super loud. I overhead another couple asking the staff to tell them to lower their voices. The husband was an extremely loud story-teller. And I mean non-stop storytelling. We could tell the staff felt uncomfortable but this is the type of resort where people are there to totally getaway, and relax. Ok, so why am I writing this if it wasn’t the hotel’s fault? It’s just a heads up that you’ll never know who else is on vacay and the vibes you’ll clash with.

Emailing ahead of time - I emailed with resort quite a bit ahead of time. It was our honeymoon and my husbands 30th birthday while we were there. I saw that they offered little honeymoon decoration like rose petals, and for birthdays, offer a mini piñata. They confirmed that this would be set up for us in our room. When we arrived, no honeymoon stuff, and a few days later, no birthday stuff. I’m putting this in the in-between because really, its not THAT big of deal but it would have been cute! I just wish that my efforts in trying to confirm that would have worked out.

Conclusion:

we’d definitely go back! Especially knowing what to expect, what to be more vocal about, etc!

Children’s Books

We love to read over here! Here’s a list of the Children’s books I’ve posted about so far. They are some of our favorites! Click on the link to learn more about why we love them!

OH HEY, FOR BEST VIEWING, YOU'LL NEED TO TURN YOUR PHONE