Luxury Camping with Collective Retreats

Hey Loves,
Many of you know that spent a glorious 2 days in Montana with plus brand Catherines. Which I can’t tell you how grateful I am for that experience. Once I posted photos of my tent on my Instagram, soooooo many of you asked me about details on where we stayed. Ya’ll know I’m all about sharing my travel stays. So here we go.

We stayed at Collective Retreats in Yellowstone at Moonlight Basin. They also have another location in Yale, Colorado. Each tent is situated lakeside, tucked into the Montana trees & enjoys breathtaking views of Lee’s Pool & Lone Mountain. This location has 5 luxury tents that each boast a plush king size bed, themed rustic decor, a porch with Adirondack chairs & a personal bathroom.
Collective Retreats is an awesome blend between luxury and nature. It’s perfect for those that would love to go camping , but aren’t here for the idea of roughing it in a sleeping bag. You get all the perks of camping; fresh air, the sounds of nature, beautiful star studded skies at night, bonfires etc. mixed with the feeling of being in a luxury hotel. The staff goes above & beyond to make your stay the best it can be.
The staff made sure that every night our small space heaters and the wood fire stoves were turned on so when we did return to our tents they were already warm. At night after making smores, that made sure we had our small lanterns so we could make it back to our rooms. They made sure our comforters were turned down at night. Tents were cleaned & refreshed daily. Upon arrival & departure, you don’t have to worry about dragging your luggage in the dirt. 
On top of being super attentive the staff were just super cool to talk to. They are more than willing to talk about where they’re from, how they ended up in Montana, where they’ve traveled to etc. They understand the multiple ways to make sure you’re comfortable.
Flat Water (the nig jug), Sparkling water, tea, coffee & Clif bars are in each room.
Each tent has a sign that helps you identify your tent!
Lee Pool Lake
Dining with Collective Retreats is definitely top notch. Being from NJ/NY you tend to really appreciate a farm to table, freshly prepared homemade meal. Breakfast, lunch (boxed lunch) & 3 course dinner is available to all guest during their stay. 

Pan Roasted Duck| Duck Confit| Berry Demo Glace| Parsnip Puree
Our view for dinner each night.
There are also tons of activities to keep you occupied during the day all within driving distance of camp site. There’s horseback riding, mountain biking, fly fishing, of course hiking and so much more. Be sure to check out my instagram to see what we got into while in Montana.
This is definitely a place to thoroughly enjoy nature in style. It’s a far cry from white sandy beaches, but just as beautiful & picturesque. Collective Retreat is taking reservations for May-October 2016 & 2017. Due to limited space, try your best to book ahead of time. Make you reservations NOW, you won’t be sorry. 
See you in my next post.
xoxo
Shay
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4 Tips to Remember when Traveling to Montana

Hey Loves,If

If you follow me on social media (you should btw) You know that I had the amazing opportunity to travel to Montana for the first time. To be honest, I had no idea what to expect when I landed. I have never been to Montana, nor have I ever had a desire to go. But since returning, I most certainly plan to go back. However being that it was my first time in Montana, I wasn’t completely prepared for how my body would react to the change in air & altitude. So for this post, here are my 4 tips to remember when traveling to Montana for the first time.

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SunKissed

Hey Loves,
I’m going through all the pictures and outfits that I wore in Aruba, and this post has to be one of my favorites. Many of you know my struggle with maxi skirts & dresses. One thing that I’ve always wanted was a white maxi skirt that fit my tall frame with a super high slit. I can’t even begin to tell you how hard it was to find. But one of my favorite designers was kind enough to make one just for me. Arlinda McIntosh owner & designer of Sofistafunk fulfilled my white maxi skirt dreams.
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Americans in Aruba

Hey loves,

If you follow me on Instagram or Snapchat (sideeye if you dont…@thickgrlscloset) you know that my guy & I spent an awesome couple of days on the beautiful island of Aruba. This was a 1st for the both of us so needless to say we were both very excited to experience something & somewhere new. Aruba was definitely an experience that I did not expect. As an American tourist, a lot of times we get use to just going to island & spending time on resorts completely separate from the locals. Since Aruba is but so big…tourist have a lot of interaction & immersion with the locals.
One thing that took me by surprise was that language barrier. I will say it’s my fault I didn’t research prior to going but most of the locals spoke mostly Spanish or Dutch. This really should not be a surprise being that to the south is Venezuela, to the west is Colombia & to the east Curacao. Aruba also has a major Asian influence, which I thought was pretty cool. 
A lot of street signs are in Dutch
Driving around was quite a task especially at night. Being from the NJ/NY streets usually work in a grid pattern and we actually had street signs. Our 1st night it took some time just to find the restaurant we were going to because street signs would easily go from being in Spanish to Dutch and then some streets just didn’t have signs. But we loved it, it was an adventure.
Aruba has such a down home beauty. Very laid back, very go at your own pace vibe. You go to Aruba to just enjoy & “be”. You can go to eagle beach or Palm beach and sit on the white sand, take in the sun, take a dip in the very clear blue water. There isn’t a need to show out (although y’all know I did lol). It’s perfect if just want to book a trip with your man or your girl and just be together.
Now just enjoy some pics!

I had a blast, it was way to short of a trip, but I’m sure me & the guy will be back. Because we explored only the northern side of the island. Next time we have to make stops in St. Nicholaas and the southern part of the island.
See you in my next post.
xoxo
Shay
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6 Reasons to stay at Breezes Bahamas

Breezes Bahamas Review
Hey Loves,
I am fresh from my weekend trip to the Bahamas. My guy and I like to leave this cold weather of NY/NJ to celebrate our birthdays & Valentines Day in warm weather. Last year we were in Puerto Rico. This year he surprised me with The Bahamas. We opted to stay at an all inclusive resort, it was totally worth everything. We stayed at Breezes Resort & Spa which is every bit of down home authentic Caribbean hospitality. It’s a beautiful resort that offers the perks of major hotel chains with a certain kind of family charm. Here are 6 reasons why you should consider staying at Breezes Bahamas
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Pool Side in Costa Rica

plus size swimwear
Hey Loves,
I’m finally able to go through all of my pics from my trip to Costa Rica. I took so many pictures with so many post in mind that when I came back I had to settle for a bit & figure out what footage I had. While in Costa Rica I took 2 days to just be insanely lazy. I would wake up whenever, have some breakfast watch tv (piece together what they were saying) go to the pool, tan a bit, go back inside, shower, nap & eat. It was awesome. I did take some time to be a blogger though. Since I was there during the week the pool was empty which allowed me to get some bathing suit shots.
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ATGC in Costa Rica

Costa Rica Travel
Hey Loves,
I’m really excited to be finally writing about my trip to Costa Rica. If you follow me on instagram you know that I spent an amazing few days in Costa Rica. Since I came home I’ve had so much time to reflect on my time there. It was my 1st international trip as an adult. And I traveled on my own. Quite a liberating experience I must say. I traveled to Liberia, Costa Rica mainly because my guy has a friend who lives out there and was more than willing to allow me to stay with them for a few days.
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4 Must Haves for Fashion Bloggers who Travel Alone

Hey Loves,

So I am fresh off the plane from my trip in Costa Rica. I had an amazing time and I definitely can’t wait for my next solo trip. Per my blogger life, getting outfit pictures is pretty much a MUST. But what happens when you’re by yourself? What happens when you don’t have a friend or companion to take your photos? This post is for you.  Here are 4 things fashion bloggers need when the try travel solo.

A tri-pod.
This one is obvious. But not all tripods are created equal. If you’re on your own, you don’t want a bulky and ultra heavy tripod. Because ultimately you’re traveling alone and that can & will get in the way.

A cell-phone tri-pod
I know you’re like 2 tri-pods? This one from Target, for your phone is perfect for this in between times when you want to shoot your look that’s only for social media, not necessarily for your blog. Most cell phone tir-pods over bendable legs that allow you to attach it to a tree or pole or any of those “unconventional” places.

A shutter remote
A remote can really make your life waaaaaayyyyyy easier when shooting on your own, particularly when traveling. Think about it, when you’re abroad, you want to having amazing backgrounds. The best way to ensure a great shot on your own is to bring along a shutter remote. You can ensure that your photos will come out right every time. If you don’t want you hand holding the remote to be in every shot, I suggest test shoot get the photo just right, then change you lens from automatic to manual to ensure all the settings (particularly the focus) stays the same. This one from Insignia works for both Canon & Nikon, no excuse.

A little of creativity & a lot of patience
It’s always easy to shoot at home. You tend to know the area so you can thing about where you would want to shoot a look. But when you’re traveling you may not be as familiar with the area. I suggest (if it’s possible) take a walk around the area, see what the scenery is like. See what the architecture is like. See what the foot traffic is like. When you’re shooting alone, there are some many other things that come in to play. Do you shot in front of a building or on a walk way. Will people be in your shot. This is where the patience comes in. You may find a great place to shoot but it’s not resonating on camera. You might be in the middle of getting some great shot & a family with a dog is right behind you in your shot. You might take 10 shots and you think you’re killing it, then you realize not a near one was in focus. <<<<the worse

I know someone out there is like…girl you didn’t mention a camera. I didn’t on purpose because if you’re a fashion blogger…that’s sort of a given. SO we’ll leave that at that lol
I hope you all enjoyed this post. I am fashion blogger, but I am totally looking to do more traveling and trying to see how I can fuse the two. See you in my next post.
xoxo
Shay
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Took my Ray-Bans to Costa Rica

Hey Loves,
Awhile back an awesome company by the name of Ditto reached out to me about their sunglasses subscription service Endless Eyewear. If any of you know me, you know I have a rather unhealthy obsession with sunglasses. So I jumped at the chance to work with them. I also knew at the time that I would be traveling to Costa Rica and what better time to rock sunglasses than in 90 degree weather.  

So what is Endless Eyewear? If you sign up, you have literally endless options of sunglasses & prescription eyeglasses to choose from & wear. IF you get tired of a certain pair, you can easily swap them out for another pair. Cool right? They have literally thousands of styles from 50 of the top designers. Every from Ray Ban to Burberry to Jason Wu. There is something for everyone.
The amazing folks over at Ditto sent me these amazing mirrored aviator glasses from Ray-Ban. They literally are the best. They come in 10 other colors if the red doesn’t tickle your fancy. You cant rent these babies for $24/month and if you want, you have the option of switching them out for a different pair.
Just Chillin’ in the pool with my Ray-Bans on!
And you know I got ya’ll!!! If you use my code ATHICKGIRLSCLOSET you get your 1st month of Endless Eyewear FREE! So head over to Ditto‘s website to start your Endless Eyewear Service. I promise you won’t be sorry! See you all in my next post.

xoxo
Shay

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ATGCinPR; La Concha Resort

Hey Loves,

To kick off my Puerto Rico experience recap, I wanted to talk about the beautiful hotel the me & the guy stayed at our 1st two nights. We stayed at La Concha Resort! It is located right Condado, so it is perfect for those looking for tourist things to do. It’s only a cab ride away from Old San Juan and all the history it has to offer. La Concha truly is a renaissance hotel, because there really loads to do, if you don’t want to leave the hotel.

The second you pull up to the hotel they are ready to welcome you. The bellhops were energetic and quite efficient. If you’re room is not ready, you have the option to leave you bags (which the documented & tag) so you can explore until your room is ready. The lobby is very up scale, clean, open, & modern. It is quite busy because across from the front desk is a well stocked bar (because you must drink at all times lol). The staff is quite helpful (as they should be) and very knowledgeable about places to go & places to eat should you choose to leave the resort. The lobby is very up scale, clean, open, & modern. It is quite busy because across from the front desk is a well stocked bar (because you must drink at all times lol). The staff is quite helpful (as they should be) and very knowledgeable about places to go & places to eat should you choose to leave the resort.

But if you’re looking to stay within the resort, you definitely won’t be bored. All rooms offer beautiful balcony views, either of the beach or the city. Both are beautiful. Outside the room, there are 4 24 hour pools (1 specifically for adults only), 2 Jacuzzi, multiple bars, multiple restaurants saunas, access to the beach, at night the lobby becomes it’s own little club. 

For those looking to lose a couple bucks, the looby connects to Casion del Mar.
There you have it loves. If you’re planning a trip to San Juan, PR this is a great place for you to stay. I promise you’ll thank me later. Until next time loves.

xoxo
Shay

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