Workplace Tips and Strategies for New Parents

While having or adopting a child can be a rewarding and exciting time for new parents, many working moms and dads will tell you navigating the complex maze of employee benefits can be confusing. Between short-term disability insurance, Family Medical Leave, vacation, paid time off and state and municipal paid leave laws, the process can be anxiety-inducing.

To help alleviate stress, employee benefits company Unum recently conducted research among new parents who had a child or adopted in the previous five years. The findings pointed to a need for more communication between the new parents and their workplace human resources and management teams, both before and after leave.

Communicate early and develop a leave plan

Nearly half (49%) of new moms and more than a third (36%) of new dads surveyed did not meet with their manager or human resources department to discuss their leave benefits. Of those who did, 40% spent 30 minutes or less doing so.

“Most employers offer standard benefits for new parents including disability insurance (for birth moms) and Family Medical Leave, and we’re finding more companies are adding additional perks like company-paid leave, flexible schedules and college savings accounts,” said Angel Bennett, a director in the Leave Management Center at Unum. “It’s important for expectant parents to meet with their managers and human resources to inform them, discuss available benefits and develop their leave plans well before the baby’s arrival.”

Nearly half (47%) of new birth moms said breastfeeding is one of their biggest challenges upon returning to the workplace. Mothers who plan on breastfeeding should discuss their options with human resources. Some companies offer lactation rooms, milk storage options and breast milk shipping services.

Things to discuss and consider after the baby arrives

Perhaps unsurprisingly, 48% of new parents are more tired, 35% are more stressed and 30% are more stressed about finances. However, some employers offer benefits that can help.

According to the Unum research, 60% of new mothers and 40% of new fathers struggled with depression or anxiety following the birth or adoption of their children. Many companies offer an employee assistance program, which can include a fixed number of counseling sessions or tele-behavioral health options, to help with life challenges.

Personal finance expert Laura Adams also suggests an open dialogue with your employer about financial protection benefits to help reduce anxiety during this potentially challenging time.

“Ensure your income is protected by reviewing your long-term disability insurance policy and that your family is taken care of with a life insurance policy,” Adams said. “Also be sure to add the new child to your health care policy and, if available, consider signing up or increasing the amount you put into a flexible spending account.”

To help new parents navigate these processes, “Bringing Up Baby: A Guide to Workplace Parental Leave Resources” contains basic tips, timing and conversation starters to engage with managers and human resources representatives. This guide, along with other employee and employer resources including a mental health report and caregiving report, can be found at unum.com/workwell. (Family Features)

SOURCE:
Unum

Simplify Summer on the Grill

Summer is typically a busy time for families, making those moments you spend together all the more precious. The hustle and bustle of the season doesn’t have to mean sacrificing wholesome meals, however.

Take advantage of the warm weather and step outside the kitchen to focus on enjoying the outdoors with family around grilled favorites, such as burgers. You can even make meals on the grill your own by putting twists on a classic, such as Barbecue Macaroni and Cheese Burgers or Buffalo Macaroni and Cheese Burgers.

Another time-saving tip: Consider refrigerated side dish options like mashed potatoes and macaroni and cheese from Bob Evans Farms, which are ready in just six minutes and provide homemade taste. In addition to topping burgers, these sides can be used as an ingredient in appetizers like Crunchy Jalapeno Potato Poppers and Pulled Pork Mac and Cheese Sliders, which are perfect for snacking on while catching up on the events of the day.

Find more recipes and time-saving ideas to make the most of grilling season at BobEvansGrocery.com.

Buffalo Macaroni and Cheese Burger

Prep time: 5 minutes

Cook time: 25 minutes

Servings: 8

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 pound Bob Evans Original Roll Sausage
  • 1 package (20 ounces) Bob Evans Macaroni and Cheese
  • 8 hamburger buns
  • 1 package crumbled blue cheese (optional)
  • 4 teaspoons Buffalo sauce
  1. In large mixing bowl, blend ground beef and sausage; divide into eight patties.
  2. On grill over medium heat, cook burgers on each side until no longer pink in center and internal temperature reaches 160 F, about 15 minutes.
  3. Heat macaroni and cheese according to package instructions.
  4. Place patties on buns and top each with 1/4 cup macaroni and cheese, 1/2 teaspoon Buffalo sauce and sprinkle with blue cheese, if desired.

Barbecue Macaroni and Cheese Burger

Prep time: 5 minutes

Cook time: 25 minutes

Servings: 8

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 pound Bob Evans Original Roll Sausage
  • 1 package (20 ounces) Bob Evans Macaroni and Cheese
  • 8 hamburger buns
  • 4 tablespoons barbecue sauce
  • 1/2 cup French fried onion straws
  1. In large mixing bowl, blend ground beef and sausage; divide into eight patties.
  2. On grill over medium heat, cook burgers on each side until no longer pink in center and internal temperature reaches 160 F, about 15 minutes.
  3. Heat macaroni and cheese according to package instructions.
  4. Place patties on buns and top each with 1/4 cup macaroni and cheese, 2 teaspoons barbecue sauce and fried onion straws.

Crunchy Jalapeno Potato Poppers

Prep time: 25 minutes

Cook time: 15 minutes

Servings: 48

  • 1 package (24 ounces) Bob Evans Original Mashed Potatoes
  • 1 cup Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
  • 1 cup sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 4 ounces diced jalapeno peppers, drained
  • 8 ounces taco flavored tortilla chips
  • 2 large eggs
  • 6-8 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • sour cream (optional)
  1. Stir together cold mashed potatoes with Monterey Jack and cheddar cheeses and diced jalapenos.
  2. Scoop 48 tablespoonfuls of potato mixture and place on parchment- or wax paper-lined baking sheet. Refrigerate 15-20 minutes.
  3. In bowl of food processor, pulse tortilla chips to fine crumbs or place chips in large, zip-top bag and smash using rolling pin. Pour crumbs into shallow bowl.
  4. Beat eggs and pour into separate shallow bowl. Set aside.

    In fryer or Dutch oven, heat oil to 350 F.

  5. Remove mashed potato scoops from refrig­erator and roll into balls. Roll each mashed potato ball in flour, tapping off excess. Once potato balls are coated in flour, dip each into egg, allowing excess to drip off, then into tortilla chip crumbs, making sure to coat evenly. Set on clean baking sheet. Discard excess flour, egg and tortilla chip crumbs.
  6. In hot oil, fry small batches of mashed potato poppers until golden brown, 30-40 seconds. Remove from fryer and place on paper towel to drain excess oil. Repeat until all poppers are cooked. Serve hot with sour cream, if desired.

Note: To reheat poppers, bake 6-8 minutes at 350 F.

Pulled Pork Mac and Cheese Sliders

Recipe courtesy of Karly Campbell of Buns in My Oven

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cook time: 10 minutes

Servings: 12

  • 1 pound pre-packaged, fully cooked pulled pork in sauce
  • 12 slider rolls
  • 1 package (20 ounces) Bob Evans Macaroni and Cheese
  • 2-3 tablespoons barbecue sauce
  • 6 slices cheddar cheese
  • 1 tablespoon barbecue dry rub
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley
  1. Heat oven to 350 F.
  2. In microwave, warm pulled pork according to package instructions.
  3. Slice rolls in half. Place bottom halves of slider rolls in 9-by-13-inch baking dish and top each with pulled pork.
  4. Microwave macaroni and cheese according to package directions and spoon evenly over pork on each sandwich roll.
  5. Drizzle barbecue sauce over sandwiches.
  6. Lay cheese in two rows of three over sliders.
  7. Top with top halves of slider rolls.
  8. Stir dry rub into butter. Spoon evenly over tops of sandwiches. Sprinkle with parsley.
  9. Bake, uncovered, 10 minutes. (Family Features)

SOURCE:
Bob Evans Grocery

Courtney Hope is Bold and Beautiful

Interview Written and Conducted by William Jackson, MBA, Founder & Chief Business Officer of InFluential Magazine, Spanish InFluential, and Teen InFluential 

Photography courtesy of Angelina Venturella / Shandrew PR.

Photography courtesy of Angelina Venturella / Shandrew PR.

Courtney Hope is an actress, model, and fitness enthusiast.  She stars as ‘Sally Spectra’ on the long-running CBS Series The Bold And The Beautiful, having been part of the cast since 2017.  Outside of show, Courtney takes on the role of lead character ‘Jesse Faden’ in upcoming video game CONTROL, set for release later in 2019 by Remedy Entertainment.

Photography courtesy of Angelina Venturella / Shandrew PR.

Photography courtesy of Angelina Venturella / Shandrew PR.

Beyond Bold, Courtney’s acting career flourishes both on the small screen and big screen. On television, her guest roles include acclaimed shows such as Transparent, Bones, NCIS: Los Angeles, NCIS, Criminal Minds, CSI: Miami, Grey’s Anatomy, Joan of Arcadia, Quantum Break, and Walker, Texas Ranger.  As a film actress, Courtney’s credits include Allegiant (Naomi Watts, Zoë Kravitz, Ray Stevenson, Janet McTeer), A Friend’s Obsession (Kayla Ewell), Swelter (Jean-Claude Van Damme), Prowl (Josh Bowman), Displacement, Mob Rules, and Revan.

Photography courtesy of Angelina Venturella / Shandrew PR.

Photography courtesy of Angelina Venturella / Shandrew PR.

Courtney has expanded into the medium of video games, transitioning her acting skills to voice for titles like Star Wars: The Old Republic - Knights of the Eternal Throne (Published by Electronic Arts)and Quantum Break (published by Microsoft Studios).  The latter game [Quantum Break] was based on the sci-fi television series of the same title, in which she reprised her role as the female lead, ‘Beth Wilder.’

Photography courtesy of Brett Erickson / Shandrew PR.

Photography courtesy of Brett Erickson / Shandrew PR.

When her schedule permits, Courtney focuses on Pilates, kickboxing, yoga, and dance. Also, she’s a certified cardio barre, Pilates, and piloxing instructor who loves to teach at her local studios.  When it comes to relaxing, she enjoys nothing more than hiking with her dogs Steve (named after Stevie Nicks), Bella, and Bentley.

William Jackson, MBA, Founder & Chief Business Officer of InFluential Magazine, Spanish InFluential, and Teen InFluential

William Jackson, MBA, Founder & Chief Business Officer of InFluential Magazine, Spanish InFluential, and Teen InFluential

I had the pleasure of chatting recently with Courtney and with her busy schedule I’m thrilled she was able to make time to chat.  Turns out Hope is not done surprising us just yet.  You can follow Courtney at InstagramTwitter, and Facebook @TheCourtneyHope.

Read the Exclusive Interview here.  

5 Tips to Get Organized

Getting organized and making the most of your home’s storage space can be a daunting task. To help keep clutter at bay and streamline organization throughout the house, consider these tips for revamping your closets and designated storage areas from the experts at ClosetMaid.

Find closet systems and other organization hacks at ClosetMaid.com. (Family Features)

Watch video to see how to get organized!

SOURCE:
ClosetMaid

Brunch Bites

A perfect addition to your brunch table, these savory Mini Ham and Avocado Biscuit Sliders are quick and easy to make. For even more homemade flavor, make the biscuits from scratch using a buttermilk-sweet potato mixture.

Find more brunch recipes at Culinary.net.

Watch video to see how to make this delicious recipe!

Mini Ham and Avocado Biscuit Sliders

Recipe adapted from Wilton

  • 2          cups, plus 1 tablespoon, all-purpose flour, divided
  • 1          tablespoon baking powder
  • 1          teaspoon salt
  • 3/4       teaspoon sage
  • 1/4       teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2       cup cold butter, cut into 1/2 inch slices
  • 1          cup buttermilk, divided
  • 1          medium sweet potato, boiled, peeled and mashed
  • spinach leaves
  • deli ham
  • 1          avocado
  1. Heat oven to 425° F. Prepare baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In large bowl, whisk 2 cups flour, baking powder, salt, sage and paprika. With pastry blender, cut in cold butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
  3. In medium bowl, whisk 3/4 cup buttermilk and mashed sweet potato. Stir into flour mixture until dough forms.
  4. Using remaining flour to prepare surface, knead until dough forms. Roll dough to 3/4-inch thickness. Using 2-inch round cutter, cut dough into 18 biscuits. Re-roll and cut out dough until all is used.
  5. Place biscuits on prepared baking sheet. Brush each biscuit with remaining buttermilk.
  6. Bake 11-13 minutes, or until golden brown.
  7. Cool completely.
  8. Split biscuits in half. Top bottom half of biscuit with spinach leaves, deli ham and an avocado slice. Replace biscuit top and serve immediately. (Family Features)

SOURCE:
Culinary.net

Sedentary Seniors: How To Help Your Loved One Take Charge of Their Health

Written by Karen Weeks, Contributing Writer for InFluential Magazine

Photo by Pexels

Has your senior loved one become a bit of a couch potato in retirement? It’s not uncommon for people over 65, especially those used to working long, hard hours, to lose their sense of purpose when they first retire. Sometimes they shake it off pretty quickly, but for others things might get worse. This inactivity can spiral into depression, weight gain or chronic health issues.

Talking to a sedentary senior about taking charge of their health can be hard. It’s not an easy conversation to start and, if you aren’t compassionate and sensitive, you can end up causing more harm than good. In some cases, the best way to change behavior isn’t to talk, but to do. Here are five activities you can do with a stagnant senior to help them manage their care and feel empowered in their life.

Reliable Transportation

If your senior loved one can’t easily get around, the barriers to a healthy life are higher than you know. Some seniors, especially those who are unable to drive, can be intimidated by using public transit or feel like a burden if they are frequently asking for rides. Helping them take charge of their health means giving them options for transportation and being there when they first start using different means. Take a few Uber rides with them so they are comfortable with the app and understand how it works. Help them schedule a medical service pickup and wait with them for their first ride so they can rely on you if they feel unsure of what to do.

Healthcare That Makes Sense

Seniors who don’t understand their Medicare plan are often surprised by unplanned out-of-pocket expenses. If your senior is scared of the costs of medical bills, they may not get up and go to the doctor even when they know they should. Help them sign up for the right plan and even do some research together on the benefits of a Medicare Advantage plan. These plans cover gaps in benefits that many seniors need, like vision, dental and more. For example, Medicare Advantage plans offer access to Silver Sneakers fitness programs. These exercise and wellness classes are custom-tailored for the health needs of people 65 and over. Your senior loved one might be more inclined to start one of these programs if it’s covered by their insurance.

Friends Who Care

Senior isolation is a very real and dangerous thing. It’s much more than loneliness or depression, though that is not to say those aren’t serious concerns. But with senior isolation lives are at risk. Did you know that senior isolation leads to an increase in mortality rates? That’s why it’s critical your senior loved one spends time with friends, especially if they live alone. Have them invite their friends to go on walks in botanical gardens, at the zoo, local parks, the mall or just for a stroll in the neighborhood. You can also encourage them to volunteer in their community to help others, while also making new friends.

Try Something New

Retirement is a time for R&R, but those golden years really shine when peppered with a little adventure. Help your senior take charge of their mental and physical health by trying new things with them at least once a month, but preferably once a week. It can be as simple as eating out at a new restaurant or as adventurous as going on a road trip to a new city. Encourage them to sign up for a class where they can learn a new skill, especially in something that might stretch their comfort zone a bit, like technology, art, music or sports.

Taking charge of their health means helping your senior loved one find outlets that are both physically and mentally stimulating, so they get a chance to exercise all the important muscles. Staying young in retirement might not always be easy, but it can always be fun with the right support, encouragement and mindset.

Barely Xtensions Offers Bride Beauty: Tips to Avoid Fashion Disasters on the Big Day

Barely Xtensions Experts Provide Advice on Hair, Skin, and Fashion for Brides

Wedding season is quickly approaching, and the experts at Barely Xtensions pride ourselves on helping every bride look and feel their best.

As stylists, we’ve heard it all—from fashion disasters to wedding day beauty crises. Over the years, we’ve learned many tips and tricks to help avoid catastrophes and ensure brides are beautiful, radiant and (most of all) happy on their big day!

“All eyes will be on the bride on her special day,” says Nadine Mullings, National Account Manager with Barely Xtensions. “It’s important that she feels radiant, confident, and  comfortable.

“This means wearing the perfect dress, finding a flattering hair style, wearing beautiful makeup and accessories along with avoiding any fashion and beauty disasters that may appear. So, here are some great ways you can prepare for your big day while enjoying every moment.”

Avoid the Biggest Fashion Disasters before your Wedding. 

Dress for your body type– not your “dream body.” It’s great to hit the gym and eat healthier in the months leading up to your wedding, but buying a dress based on how you want to look (vs. how you actually look) is a mistake. Few of us are actually able to lose that 30 extra pounds – even if you eat super healthy and hit the gym every day. You just won’t have Jennifer Aniston’s body on your wedding day. Order your actual size – not the size you hope to be. It’s far easier to alter a dress to a smaller size than it is to make a too-small dress bigger!

When choosing your dress, consider the details of your wedding. What time of year is the wedding? What’s the setting—outdoors, in a church, or fancy hotel? Is it a black-tie affair or a more casual beach or garden setting?

Also, what’s your personal style? Are you trendy? Bohemian? Classic and romantic?  Select a dress that feels authentic to your daily style, and also fits the theme and tone of the wedding you’re planning. You will feel much more confident and lovely if you’re in a dress that feels true to you!

Finally, don’t forget the hair! Once you’ve figured out your dress and veil, think about how you want to wear your hair. Many brides complement their natural hair with Barely Xtensions to create the perfect wedding look!!

Should you Change your Look Right before your Wedding? 

Avoid making major changes to your hair. The days and weeks before your wedding are NOT the time to try a drastic new look, like cutting it super short or going from the chestnut brown hair that you’ve rocked all your life to bold platinum!

Also, stick to your tried-and-true skincare routine. Don’t try new skincare products that could possibly cause breakouts (or even an allergic reaction). You can make sure your skin looks radiant by drinking plenty of water, getting lots of sleep, and working out to get a nice endorphin-related glow (while also getting rid of some pre-wedding stress).

Speaking of healthy skin, avoid things like chemical peels, microdermabrasion or Botox during the week or two before your wedding. Some people have unfortunate reactions to these procedures and are left with redness, dryness, irritation, peeling and even bruised skin. A dry, red, bruised face is definitely not the bridal look you’re going for!

While you’ve likely been dieting and exercising in the months leading up to the wedding, don’t try to make drastic weight changes. This is absolutely the wrong time to try a juice cleanse or other starvation diets in order to drop the last few pounds quickly.

Extreme diets and cleanses cut too many calories, don’t provide proper nutrients, and leave you feeling weak, jittery and irritable—NOT what you need right before your wedding.  Instead, focus on eating healthy, nutritious and delicious meals and drinking lots of water to look and feel your best.

Create a Breathtaking Bridal Hair-do

Most of all, remember this is your time to shine! Select a hair style that will make you feel gorgeous and confident. Work with a stylist that you trust and meet with him/her prior to the wedding to discuss what type of “hair-do” that you’re envisioning. Think through the style that works well with your dress, venue, theme and the weather.

It’s very important to pick a hair style that works well with your dress. If your gown is simple, you might opt for soft waves or you might pick a more dramatic up do. If it has an open back, you’ll likely want an up do to show off this detail.

The veil or headpiece you select will also impact your hair style, so bring it with you when you meet for the consultation with your stylist. And don’t forget the weather. If you’re getting married in a hot, humid climate (or season), consider an “up do” or a fancy braid to keep your locks under control even as things get steamy.

Many brides get Barely Xtensions prior to their wedding to enhance their natural hair and to look and feel their best. Hair extensions add instant length and volume—perfect for brides that want longer hair for their wedding.

Today’s extensions look and feel super natural, and can be styled straight, wavy, curly or in an up do—whatever you’re envisioning for your wedding day.

Focus on Pre-Wedding Pampering

Preparing for a wedding is a hectic (and stressful!) time. Emotions are running high; you may also have to deal with family drama. This can all be overwhelming as you manage the last minute details of your big event.

Here’s some very good advice: schedule time for self-care, including a relaxing massage, an indulgent mani-pedi, a luxurious bubble bath, and a professional blow out. Take some much-needed “me time” with a walk through the park, a restorative yoga class, or a good book. Taking regular breaks from the chaos will benefit your mind, body and soul.

About Barely Xtensions:  

Barely Xtensions offers the ultra-seamless difference in hair extensions featuring a revolutionary Micro-Thin Skin Weft technology providing the smoothest application on the market allowing the extensions to lay flat to the head for a virtually undetectable finish.

Made of 100 percent premium quality Remy human hair, Barely Xtensions sets the standard of luxury hair extensions at an affordable price with the latest trend-setting colors and styles. They are sold exclusively at Sally Beauty Supply stores throughout the United States and Canada.

For more information visit the website at barelyxtensions.com or connect with Barely Xtensions at Instagram/barelyxtensions, Facebook/barelyxtensions, Twitter/barelyxtensions, and Pinterest/barelyxtensions.

8 Recipes to Take Summer Gatherings to the Next Level

The summer months offer seemingly endless opportunities to enjoy the warm weather with friends and family. Serving crowd-pleasing foods and drinks can go a long way toward a successful gathering, whether you’re hosting a brunch, relaxing by the pool or throwing a backyard bash.

Regardless of the occasion, a store like ALDI has everything you need to savor summer, including entertaining items and high-quality ingredients, without the premium price tag. When you make this one-stop shop your destination for summer essentials, you can get more of what you love for less.

Find more seasonal recipe ideas like these appetizers, main dishes, desserts and drinks at ALDI.us.

Grilled Avocados with Vegetable RelishBoost a favorite summer flavor like avocado by using your grill. Start by slicing the avocados and removing the pits before grilling flesh-side down. Fill with a vegetable relish mixture of tomatoes, bell peppers and onions then sprinkle with feta cheese.

Citrus Popping Kale SaladThis light and refreshing salad is a perfect make-ahead meal-starter. Made with a quinoa base, the combination of kale, mangoes, cranberries, toasted almonds and crumbled goat cheese provides a unique mix of flavors.

Grilled Strip Steak Skewers with Pear SlawSkewers are a summertime favorite that can be easily customized to meet the tastes of your guests. This version features steak marinated in a soy sauce mixture, cooked on a grill pan and served over a bed of cabbage, carrots, radishes, onions and julienned pears.

Grilled Pear and Apple Pork TenderloinCombining a sweet yet savory glazed pork tenderloin with a side of fresh apple and pear (or peach) wedges, this simple dish is an ideal accompaniment to a day or night spent dining al fresco.

Frozen Greek Yogurt with BlueberriesSummer calls for frozen treats, and you can put a healthier spin on dessert by substituting frozen yogurt for ice cream. Just blend blueberries, lemon juice and vanilla with Greek yogurt and freeze for a perfect indulgence on a warm afternoon.

Freezie Fruit PopsMix and match assorted fruits like kiwi, strawberries, grapes, blueberries, pineapple, peaches and more with fruit juices. Once mixed, freeze to create healthy fruit pops. For a grown-up version, substitute wine for the juice.

Very Berry Chiller with Lemonade Ice CubesWhen looking for a way to cool off on a hot summer day, reach for a combination of classic summer flavors. Freeze lemonade overnight in an ice cube tray then drop the cubes in a pitcher of blended blueberries, strawberries, blackberries and raspberries for a sweet, refreshing beverage.

SanGritaA refreshing twist on a traditional Spanish punch, this adults-only beverage calls for blending frozen lime bars with sangria and garnishing with strawberries and blueberries to your liking. (Family Features)

SOURCE:
ALDI

Ignacia Guest House Offers Stylish Stay in Trendy Colonia Roma

Ignacia Guest House is a fashionable home-away-from-home in the heart of Mexico City with award-winning design

Property debuts new summer cocktail, new suite amenity and chic tote bags designed by famous Mexican illustrator

 

Consistently ranked among the world’s top places to visit, Mexico City is a global capital welcoming more than 12.5 million visitors each year with  its renowned cuisine, vibrant culture, rich history, unique neighborhoods and modern-day travel offerings. A sprawling metropolis bursting with a vibrant personality  blending  old and new, there are over a dozen distinct neighborhoods or “colonias” each with their own character and charm.

An essential part of the city’s cultural and gastronomic life, the adjacent Roma and Condesa neighborhoods are home to Mexico City’s trendy creative class. The area overflows with diverse dining options and alluring nightlife possibilities, as well as varying architectural styles and bold design. A century ago, when La Romita was a wealthy town of grand mansions, no one would have guessed that by the turn of the millennium, it would home to Mexico City’s  hipsters. These days, its neoclassic, beaux arts and art nouveau-style buildings, squares and tree-lined boulevards abound with restaurants, galleries, bars, foodies, artists, eclectic bed and breakfasts and more. In September 2017 an earthquake impacted Roma and Condesa, Mexico City’s most beloved colonias. After, local artists, architects, designers, chefs and residents have worked to restore and revitalize the area, making them more compelling destinations than ever before.

 

With the recent buzz from this year’s Academy Award winner for Best Director, Alfonso Cuaron’s love story to his hometown of Colonia Roma hit center stage in the internationally acclaimed movie, Roma. Located just a few blocks from the house where Roma was filmed, Ignacia Guest House is an exclusive bed and breakfast with five suites blending history, Mexican artisan tradition and contemporary design. Opening its doors in February 2017, the name is derived from the housekeeper who looked after this 1913 casona for over 70 years, Ignacia.

To celebrate the recent two-year anniversary of its opening, Ignacia Guest House collaborated with prominent illustrator Hilda Palafox, known as “Poni” to design the guest house’s commemorative anniversary tote bags. Born and raised in Mexico City, Poni is a world-renowned designer, illustrator and muralist whose creative work includes murals, illustrations, drawings and ceramics. She studied at the National Institute of Fine Arts and has illustrated for magazines, singers and several national and international brands. Passionate about the female form, Poni uses illustrations and ceramic works to create a variety of womanly characters in her own unique style. Despite being commissioned for murals by Amnesty International, her most famous work is a doodle which pays homage to Mexican activist and feminist Elvia Carrillo Puerto which was featured on Google’s search homepage in 2017. These beautiful signature tote bags designed exclusively for Ignacia Guest House by Poni can be purchased for $25USD at the front desk. In other news, Ignacia Guest House now offers luxurious robes for all guests to adorn during their stay and a new summer mezcal cocktail to be enjoyed during their daily complimentary cocktail hour in the garden.

 

Architecture and Design

Ignacia Guest House has been internationally acclaimed for its interior design, architecture and restoration. Led by Fermin Espinosa and Gerardo Salinas of Mexico City-based Factor Eficiencia, with the design firm Estudio de Interiorismo A-G, Ignacia Guest House was developed based on a concept from the design and communications firm, Fuckin’Fitz & Co. The concept reflected the personality and background of Ignacia, from the chromatic color palette and gardens inspired by the forests of Guerrero (Ignacia’s home state) to the privacy of each space. The historic building joins public spaces, including the lobby, reception, library, dining room, and kitchen, directly to the master suite, La Habitación Negra. In a completely new building, the other four suites, La Azul, La Verde, La Rosa and La Amarilla, are arranged one on top of the other on the central patio with individual balconies or terraces. Each has a unique color scheme, and rooms have their own specific ambience that works in harmony with the complex. The interior furniture blends traditional, past and contemporary, including designs by Eileen Grey, Eero Saarinen, Serge Mouille, Sean Dix, and James Tan. The spaces complement each other with examples of contemporary design by A-G, Bo Concept, PECA, and Jonathan Adler. All common spaces boast works from master artisan potter José Cervantes of San Agustín Oapan, Guerrero.

History

Ignacia was born around 1914 in Guerrero and arrived in Mexico City in the late 1920s to work in the estate house. She first helped with the cleaning, then began caring for the children, eventually becoming the head housekeeper until the year 2000, at which time she moved with the family that she worked for so many years to an apartment in the south part of the city. For 70 years, she dedicated her devotion to the house, and became part of it. Her imprint is still alive in the building; as a character of Pita Amor, Ignacia enjoyed the house as her own and in the end, practically it was – she knew every last corner and administered to it with rigorous discipline. She planted two orange trees in the garden that she crossed thousands of times.

Cuisine

The cooks at Ignacia Guest House hit the pantry bright and early to prepare each day’s breakfast selection and source all ingredients at traditional neighborhood markets. They prepare everything—salsas, condiments—from scratch. Artisanal breads, delicious fruits and juices one can only find in Mexico complement cooked-to-order entrees ranging from seasoned eggs, regional charcuteries, tamales and chilaquiles to lesser-discovered tastes guests will remember long after their travel ends. The cooks offer vegetarian and vegan options for all their breakfast dishes and can accommodate guest’s dietary restrictions. Guests can enjoy the complimentary cocktail hour at Ignacia’s garden, under the two orange trees, between 5pm and 7pm daily. Each day, the chef prepares a different cocktail for guests, made with mezcal from Oaxaca, gin, tequila or other liquors. Ignacia’s signature cocktail is made with grapefruit, sparkling water, mezcal and a hint of Ancho Reyes, a liquor made from the ancho chile. The decoration of the glass has a special touch – chefs add worm salt frosting on one side of the glass along with fresh grapefruit. Celebrating the onset of summer, their newest drink is a mango and mezcal cocktail made with mango and pomelo juices, Eureka lemon, mezcal, Ancho Reyes liquor, mint and rosemary syrup, ginger ale and ice.

Sustainability

Ignacia Guest House is committed to preserving our environment. Solar panels produce most of the electrical energy consumed on property, preventing 3.8 tons of CO2 from entering the atmosphere each year (the equivalent of planting 85 trees per year). The solar panels reduce fossil fuel consumption up to 60% in bathrooms and the kitchen. The ingredients used to prepare food and beverages (fruits, vegetables, legumes, coffee, eggs, dairy, tortillas, bread) come from small local producers, which guarantees their freshness and quality, as well as fair trade (supporting the local community). In-suite toiletries are provided by Loredana, a Mexican company that specializes in natural, organic products free of parabens, sulfates and EDTA, which are all environmentally friendly and made free of animal cruelty. Water bottles are provided courtesy of Casa del Agua, a Mexican company that triple-filters water using evaporation and condensation, which provides the highest purification standard (100%) in the market. Additionally, water is harmonized with intention, through a process of flow forms, light and, music. Only glass bottles are used, so the property does not contribute to plastic waste. The cleaning products used are sourced from Corpo Citrik, a Mexican company that manufactures all its products with biodegradable citric extracts, without chemicals, abrasives or irritants, Kosher certified and as low foam to promote saving water saving.

One of the biggest trends in travel right now is boutique hotels and bed and breakfasts that feel like a home-away-from-home. Globetrotters are seeking personalized service that go beyond the usual hotel concierge and find that properties with ten rooms or fewer allow them to really slip into local life with total tranquility and ease. With its unique offering of just five suites, Ignacia Guest House’s guests experience a stay in a chic design-led accommodation that is unlike any other. Whether traveling for pleasure or business, Ignacia Guest House is the perfect basecamp to explore the city. All guests receive exceptional individualized attention from the staff, complimentary Wi-Fi, daily breakfast, daily cocktail hour in the garden from 5pm – 7pm and more amenities. Nightly rates for the suites in double occupancy are: Master Suite Negra ($442.10USD), Standard Suites Amarilla, Verde and Azul ($387.94USD) and Junior Suite Rosa ($318.91USD). For more information, visit www.ignacia.mx or email hola@ignacia.mx.

About Ignacia Guest House

Located in the vibrant Colonia Roma neighborhood, Ignacia Guest House is an exclusive bed and breakfast with just five suites, uniting Mexican artisan tradition, history and contemporary design. The restoration of this 1913 mansion celebrates the personality of Ignacia, the mansion’s housekeeper for more than 70 years. In partnership with the interior design studio A – G, Factor Eficiencia finished restoration of Ignacia Guest House in February 2017. The historic building includes an entrance hall, reception, library, dining room, kitchen and the Black Guest Room (master suite), all along with a common concept of nude color used in the interiors. In a completely new building, the rest of the guest rooms are vertically arranged around a central patio and garden: Blue, Green, Pink and Yellow. With terraces and a harmonious chromatic palette, each guest room creates environments in balance with the entire complex. The cooks at Ignacia Guest House hit the pantry bright and early to prepare each day’s selection and source all ingredients at traditional neighborhood markets and prepare everything—salsas, condiments, everything—from scratch. www.ignacia.mx.

Make Sense of Your Travel Preferences

Seasoned travelers know that no two trips are exactly the same, even when revisiting the same location. The weather changes, your personal life and perspective evolve and any combination of factors makes each experience unique. However, if you’re like most travelers, your preferences guide your journeys no matter how far you venture from home.

According to a survey of American travelers from vacation rental app and website Vrbo, people are united by a common desire to travel with friends and family. In fact, 52% of respondents said a family vacation is their reason for travel in 2019, and more people said they will travel with a group of four or more this year than last year. That’s where the generational similarities end, however.

Determining where to go and what you’ll do depends quite a bit on your age. Your stage of life significantly impacts the places you dream about visiting, the reasons you travel and what you look for when you get there, according to the survey.

What to look for in a destination

Your definition of a dream vacation is likely to shift along with variables like your life stage, income and available free time. Limitations in any of those areas may make a certain destination a far-off dream during one stage of life but an attainable retreat during another.

The disparity between dream and reality signals that barriers of time and money are the deciding factors for whether Americans will take that dream vacation. This holds true for every age group, although millennials (37%) are more likely to go into debt for travel than Generation Xers (27%) and baby boomers (15%).

Reasons for traveling

Relaxation is a primary reason for traveling, which can help you disconnect from the stress of daily life and reconnect with family and friends. Whether it’s curiosity or a much-anticipated trip to celebrate a special occasion with a family member, many trips have a specific purpose. Understanding why you want to travel can make it much easier to plan.

Although younger travelers are most likely to make exploration a priority on their journeys, the Vrbo survey revealed that travel isn’t always about adventure, as 20% of travelers ages 35-54 are likely to travel for a special occasion like a birthday or anniversary. In addition, only 6% of baby boomers said they would travel for a hobby or activity like skiing, surfing or hiking, compared with 23% of millennial respondents.

Amenities that matter

The amenities you can access during your getaway may vary greatly depending on where you go and the type of trip you plan. From electronics and fully stocked kitchens to swimming pools and pet-friendly features, plenty of options are available to help ensure your perfect vacation lodging includes all the amenities you require.

If you’re like most travelers, keeping connected is a major requirement. In fact, 75% of respondents listed access to the internet via WiFi as an important amenity when traveling, outranking traditional must-haves like TV and air-conditioning, according to the survey.

Amenities like WiFi aside, accommodation preferences reflect the starkest generational differences among American travelers. Millennials (71%) are most likely to consider unique lodging options such as boats or treehouses. They also represent the age group most likely to take into account design and architecture when choosing a place to stay. Generation Xers voiced the strongest preference for having ample space for everyone in the party. For baby boomers, more than other age groups, noise level is important when selecting lodging.

Find getaway accommodations perfect for every stage of life at vrbo.com. (Family Features)

SOURCE:
Vrbo