Category Archives: Travel

Road trip with the Babies

We got the unfortunate news that Nick’s grandfather passed away last week. Since flights to Idaho were super expensive we decided to drive there. After surviving over 16 hours in the car each way I feel pretty confident in my ability to road trip with two under two. Here are a few tips if you find yourself in a similar situation.

  1. Take a big car- If you own a van I wouldn’t recommend renting a car, but if you have a tiny Honda Civic, like me, rent something larger. We ended up with a Minivan and it was heaven. We fit luggage for three adults and two babies, two pack-n-plays, and tons of snacks. It made the entire trip much more comfortable.
  2. Plan your route and stops ahead- We drove a longer route, but it had more cities to stop in throughout the drive. Before we started we looked at a map and picked four cities about three hours apart from one another to be our stops. We ended up skipping some and adding others, but starting with a plan is always a good idea.
  3. Stop at kid friendly places- I like to choose something I’m familiar with so I know the kids will have things to eat. We stopped at chick-fil-a three times on our trip because they have a great kids play area for the babies.
  4. Have a special car bag- I didn’t want to bring everything I needed for the trip in my diaper bag because there was no way it would all fit. I have a separate bag with extra diapers, wipes, three extra outfits, nail clippers, lotion, diaper cream, and other odds and ends. After every stop I would replenish my diaper bag with the goodies from the separate bag.
  5. Nurse as you go- Okay this is super dangerous, but sometimes Eloise would need a little extra nursing session so I would just lean over her carseat and nurse her. This was way easier than stopping constantly just so she could get a little snack. Obviously, I only did this when we were in the middle of nowhere, I would never do that on a busy road.
  6. Drive during naps or bed time- On the way home we left really early. It was perfect because for the first four hours the babies were sleeping. We were doing such a long trip that the babies were going to have to be awake. If you have a 6 hour drive or less try to plan it really early, really late, or during nap.
  7. SNACKS- When in doubt pack lots of snacks. I kept Emerson happy by giving him snack after snack.

Of course I couldn’t end the post without a cute picture of Emerson running around Boise. What are your favorite road trip tips? Even though we survived, I’m not sure if we’ll be making a drive like that anytime soon. Sixteen hours is a long time.

Hawaiian Birthday

     

Since I’m way behind on basically everything in life right now, it shouldn’t be a surprise that I’m almost two months late on talking about Emerson’s birthday. My poor baby was born on December 28th so this year with all the christmas and new years craziness we had to hold off a little on the party. We did however, take him on a very special birthday trip. When he was a few months old Nick and I started planning a trip to the Big Island of Hawaii, half for us and half as a birthday trip for him. Okay so mostly for us considering he won’t even remember it, but I promise he had a great time!

We stayed in a very secluded condo complex basically an hour away from any civilization. From our room we had a beautiful view of the ocean and the sun rising each morning. We were just a short walk away from Hawaii’s black sand beach so we tried to walk down there as often as possible. Emerson was a huge fan of the beach, specifically the sand. How do I know this? I could tell by the amount of sand we kept finding in his diaper. What is it was babies and eating everything? Everyday we were there he would try to stuff as much sand as possible in his mouth.

We went to a luau and again Emerson had a blast! He was such a good baby, zero tears the entire time. We were afraid maybe the loud noise or fire would scare him, but nope he actually fell asleep during the fire dance. We visited Volcano National Park a few times and although Emerson didn’t care at all Nick and I had a great time. We got to see the actual lava bubbling inside the crater which is pretty incredible.

We already can’t wait until our next Hawaiian vacation, especially since next time we go we’ll have our baby girl with us. Do you have a favorite family vacation spot? Comment and let me know! We’re always looking for fun places to visit!

DIY Travel Map

PicMonkey Sample

Something Nick and I both really treasure is the time we get to spend traveling together. This year for his 25th birthday I wanted to make him something that would be related to travel. I search through the internet and found some cool maps where people would put pins or pictures on the states they visited together and decided to try to make one.

WHAT YOU NEED:
Cork Board
Pencil
Sharpie
Printed picture of the U.S. (I printed it out on 8 pages)
Paint (Optional)

WHAT TO DO
I started by sitting the pages of the U.S. on the cork board and tracing around the outside with pencil. Next, I started to cut off the states one by one and trace the individual states, I freehanded some of the smaller states along with Hawaii and Alaska. After the states were traced I covered over them with sharpie and painted all the outside area in blue. I used pins from my sewing kit with pieces of paper taped to it to identify the places we’ve been together.

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Sorry the picture quality is so bad, I hadn’t really planned on blogging this since I assumed it wasn’t going to turn out that great, but I really do love the way it ended up turning out, again it was completely free and took about 5 hours to finish. Above the map I put up this wall decal I ordered off of easy which I think brings the whole room together.

Baby Moon Part Two: Hilton Head Island

Happy Saturday!
I promised like two weeks ago I would recap the second part of my vacation, but life got a little crazy, so here I am writing this up at 5:30am on a Saturday morning!

So after Nick and I (and my grandparents) spent an awesome day and a half exploring Charleston we got in our car and drove over to Hilton Head Island to spend 5 days at the Disney Vacation Club Resort. When you travel with Disney you always know the amenities are going to be top notch, but this was something truly different than any of the resort is FL or CA that I’m use to. The resort was tucked away on the marsh side of the island and walking the grounds it felt more like cabins in the woods than a gigantic resort. Our villa had two from, two bathrooms, a full living room, full kitchen and my personal favorite spot a deck with a dining table and rocking chairs. We spend a lot of time in the room relaxing, and playing 4 hours Disney monopoly games!
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Since the resort was on the marsh side of the island they did offer a shuttle over to their beach house. With a pool, quick service restaurant, T.V room and a bunch of games (ping pong, pool, ect.) the beach out had pretty much everything you needed. Plus beach front access to a beautiful beach. Now we went in off season so I’m not really sure if the pool house gets crowded during summer, but for us it was perfect. There was hardly ever anyone around at the house or the resort and it was easy to feel like you were there all alone!IMG_2959_2IMG_2960_2 IMG_2958_2

Really the goal of this trip was to unwind, Nick and I both work in stressful positions and we really needed to recharge our batteries. This ended up being the perfect vacation I really can’t imagine it going any better than it did. We did have the craziest time trying to get home, but I’ll have to save that story for another day!

Do you like realizing vacations, or do you prefer to go-go-go see everything we can in a day vacations? Comment and let me know! Hope everyone has a great weekend.

A Day in Charleston, SC

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Last week Nick and I took off to have our last vacation before the baby comes, aka our babymoon. Originally, before we knew I was pregnant, we had plans to go to Florida and visit some friends there while enjoying Disney World, but that just wasn’t going to work 8 months pregnant. So after consulting my well-traveled grandparents, who also happen to be our go-to travel buddies, we decided on Hilton Head Island in South Carolina. Since we’re all from the west coast and don’t have a huge opportunity to visit the southeast we tried to plan to see a few cities on our way. Charleston has been on my bucket list for a long time, my mother was born there, so that was a good place to start.
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We flew into Charleston on Friday night and spent all day Saturday wandering around their historic district. It was so beautiful, especially coming from the 109 degree weather, just to walk around and enjoy the sights. We walked past all the homes that were built in the 1700s and they were absolutely beautiful. There were sweet little family owned shops mixed in with some of my favorite chain stores. Best part of the day was probably when a random rain storm hit in the middle of the day. Of course we all left our umbrellas in the car so we were completely soaked, but the rain cleared in about 20 min and within and hour or so we were completely dry.

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That was really all the time we had in Charleston, I know there are some beautiful garden and plantation tours and hopefully Nick and I will make it back sometime in the future to enjoy those!

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I’m only going to talk about that for today, next week I’ll recap Hilton Head and Savannah, GA.

Did you go on a ‘babymoon’ before your first child? I’d love to hear about the places you visited!

Currently Craving

It’s already April and that means summer is just around the corner! I can’t believe how quickly this year has been moving and how many changes have already happened. Nick and I have both moved into management which really means that we’ve been crazy busy and devoting most of our time to work. I think that could be why I’m dreaming of a beach getaway so badly. Just over a year ago we were lounging on the sandy beaches of Hawaii and I would give just about anything to go back this year! IMG_0337 IMG_0180 IMG_0176 IMG_0245

Although Nick and I were married in November we decided to wait until March to take our official honeymoon. Since Nick was in school full time he couldn’t really take a week off and we felt like it would be fun to have something to look forward to. I’m so thankful we did because I think getting married and jetting off somewhere right away would have felt rushed and I think once it was all over I would be disappointed that I had nothing to count down to anymore! We had so much fun traveling around the island just the two of us, and I have to say a special thank you to my grandparents and Margo, they gave us the room for a week and airfare to Hawaii as a wedding gift, pretty amazing if you ask me! IMG_1003IMG_0063IMG_0073IMG_0215

We are looking forward to eventually making our way back to paradise, but for now looking through the pictures will have to suffice.

I also want to say a special Happy Birthday to my best and longest friend Sam! She turns 22 today and I am lucky enough to have known her for 22 year minus 2 weeks. She’s the greatest friend anyone could have and although we live in separate state I know we’ll see each other as much as we can in the next 22 year!

Hope everyone is having a lovely Wednesday! Are you dreaming of a beach getaway? Comment and let me know!

Disney Vacation

Nick and I just got back from our Disney vacation in Florida and I am so excited to tell you guys all about it!
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We were able to visit all four parks of DisneyWorld plus both parks at Universal Studios! Most importantly I was able to see some friends from my college program (you can ready about here) and one of my best friends from jr. high who had been working out there for the past few months.

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 We spent out first day and Epcot walking around the World Showcase, eating delicious food at the Canadian Steak house Le Cellier, and meeting Alice.

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 Day two was Animal Kingdom, and day three was one of my favorite parks Hollywood Studios! If you like thrill rides Hollywood Studios is for you, it has Rockin Roller Coaster and The Tower of Terror! If you can visit during the christmas season you’ll get to see THe Osborne Family Christmas Lights. This is a good time to say that my grandparents also visited DIsney with us and I had to share a picture of them, especially since my grandma and I got matching christmas Minnie ears!

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Day three was Universal Studios, which meant one thing to me, Harry Potter! I’m a huge fan and  could not wait to see the new Diagon Alley. The Hogwarts Express which runs between Hogsmead and Diagon Alley was one of my favorite things. Everything was done so well, they made all the store exactly as they were described in the books. I wanted to buy a wand and robe, but Nick reminded me they might not to super practical for everyday life. 
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The Last two days were spent in Magic Kingdom, going to rides, shopping and a lot of eating! 
IMG_1863How could you want want to eat everyone of those treats!? The highlight of the vacation for me was out last night, we had reservations at Ohanas, an all you can eat restaurant in the Polynesian Resort. It is directing across the lake from The Magic Kingdom and they turned down the light and piped in the music from the fire work show, I’m positive we had the best seat in the house!
Well that’s everything for now, I have more to share, but I’ll save that for later. We are also about 95% done with the renovations and I can’t wait to share the finished project!  

Our Story

IMG_0591Nick and I met in spring of 2011. We were both young working at the popular fast food restaurant InNOut. We were friends chatting and work and eventually started a silly Facebook message. Immediately I knew I really like him and I started staying up late every night messaging back and forth. Eventually he gave me his number and we were in constant communication.IMG_0198

We started dating in October of 2011, by November we had picked out rings and on December 5th of 2011 he proposed. IMG_0255At first we wanted to get married right away, but after talking our families we decided to wait a while to get married.We ended up having a two year engagement, we were able to really get to know each other and even spend some time living in separate states. I spend 6 months in Florida with the Disney College Program and Nick spend a few months in Indiana for school.IMG_0195On November 30th 2013 we got married in Phoenix Arizona and of course went back to visit the InNOut were we first met. DSCN4197

 

Ten Favorite Things Link Up

So excited to be linking up with Brianna from Endlessly Beloved! I actually know her in real life, and her blog inspired me to start Thebusinessofblonde! Brianna is also responsible for my wonderful design so make sure to click here if you’re interested in working with her!

 

This month is 10 favorites for Travel! I’m super excited because traveling is by far my favorite hobby. I decided to switch it up a little bit and post my 10 favorite vacation spots! Enjoy!

1. Italy- I have always been obsessed with Italy and I truly believe I was made to  live in this country. I visited in the summer of 2011 for my graduation gift and it was the most amazing vacation of my life. Italy has everything, Rome and Piza might be full of tourist, but the amount of history is incredible.  Tuscany is quiet with many rolling hills and adorable small villages; personally, my kind of vacation. There is also Venice, the floating city, and Capri for the beach lovers.

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2. Hawaii- I visited with my family when I was in grade school and was lucky enough to come back a few months ago with Nick for our honeymoon. Besides the wonderful beaches, Oahu offers great nightlife, Maui offers a romantic get away, the Big Island has active volcanoes and black sand beaches, and lastly Kauai has a low key feel with lush greens.

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 3. Orlando- Even though I lived there for six months I still consider Orlando the perfect vacation spot! Can you say Disney world? Four separate theme parks, two water parks and a shopping area, Orlando is perfect for family fun.  Stay at a Disney hotel, get the meal plan and have a blast!

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 4. Jamaica- I have been to Jamaica twice, both times with my high school youth group. Because we were there working I didn’t spend my days laying on the beach or sitting poolside, but I did gain an appreciation for the island. More beautiful than the beaches and jungles are the people. I have met some of the warmest thankful people living on the island, and I can’t wait to get back and visit.

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 5. Bahamas- Although I haven’t stayed on the island, I have been on a few cruises that stopped there and it was amazing.  A highlight of my trip was touring the Atlantis Hotel. The beaches are warm and the water is clear. A trip to the Bahamas would not be complete without walking through the flee market bargaining with locals.

6. New York City- Can anyone say Broadway? I feel like that in itself is enough to make anyone hop on a plane! The first time I visited was right after Thanksgiving so New York was in Christmas mode. All the storefronts had lights and the air was crisp.  It’s hard to explain, but you could basically feel Christmas.

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 7. San Francisco-  San Francisco has beautiful weather, delicious food and a creepy old prison, everything you need in a long weekend. The best thing about San Fran is Alcatraz; you can walk through the prison with headphones listening to the tour on your own. You don’t have to worry about stupid questions or the tour guide walking too fast. The food in the city is to die for, lots of fresh seafood on fisherman’s Warf, or my personal favorite The Stinking Rose for my fellow garlic lovers.

8. Las Vegas- I’ve only been once since I turned 21, but gambling and drinking aren’t the only way to have fun in Sin City.  Walking through the hotels is a fun way to visit other countries without flying half way around the world. Las Vegas offers shows for those of us who enjoy musicals, or cirque du soleil for anyone who wants to see something completely captivating.

9. Washington DC- For history buffs the Washington D.C. area is a must visit. Jamestown Virginia is just a drive away where you can see the first United States settlement. Pocahontas fans will be happy to know this is where she met John Smith. Must see’s in D.C include The White House, Arlington Cemetery, and the Smithsonian.

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10.  San Diego – I never appreciated San Diego until my family moved to Arizona. San Diego has everything you could want in a vacation spot. Of course everyone loves the beach, and the year round perfect weather, but there is so much more! Personally it is not a trip to San Diego without a trip to SeaWorld (yes, I saw Blackfish, but it doesn’t stop me from wanting to pet stingrays and dolphins.)  For people who prefer land animals they have the San Diego Zoo and the Wild Animal Park. Also make sure on your next trip to San Diego you stop by Slater’s 50/50 Burgers! The most amazing burger you will ever eat!

 

 

Thanks for stopping by, comment and tell me what are you favorite vacation stops and why?

 

California for the Weekend

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I am super excited for this weekend because I get to visit my hometown San Diego, California. It’s just a quick trip Friday- Sunday, but it’s important because I get to help my best friend, Samantha, celebrate her 21st birthday! Sam and I have known each other since we were just tiny embryos. Our mothers met before they were out of high school and stayed friends until years later they both got married and ended up pregnant with the girls around the same time. Sam was born just two shorts weeks before me, and although we call ourselves friends, we are more like sisters.

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We use the term sister because although we always begged our moms to let us hang out after a few hours we would always end up fighting. Our fights were often over who would get to play Sailor Moon and have been known to end up in us tied together until we agreed to hug and make up. Other times our parents would make us pick up dog poop or sit in time out until we agreed to get along. Of course the second we were away from one another we would immediately ask our parents to get us together again.

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Unfortunately when I was eleven my family moved from California to Arizona. A few years after that and Sam moved with her family to Chicago, Illinois. Incredibly our friendship has stayed intact. Of course, there were times where we didn’t speak for years, but I hope those are all behind us now. Sam is back in California just a six hours car ride, or quick hour flight away. We have seen each other more in the past year than in all nine years prior. I hope we can keep it up because it’s rare and precious to have a relationship like ours.

Happy Birthday to my sister, I can’t wait to see you!