First Family Vacation ~ Day One

Sunday, February 19, 2017

We recently got back from our first family vacation! And I’m sure you can guess where it was…Hawaii. We decided to take advantage of the “under 2 years of age fly free” rule. We also took advantage of our United and Marriott points and flew for free to Maui and stayed at the Ritz Carlton for free as well (we did pay taxes, parking and resort fees). More on that later!

This trip was VERY different from our past trips. When Matt and I travel we usually stick to our 2 carry-on items each but this time we felt like mules hauling around all our shit! We had 2 checked bags, a car seat, infant carrier, diaper bag and then our carry-on items. I wish we would have taken a picture but who was going to hold the camera?! And I might add that given the opportunity to check a bag I will over pack, it’s just a fact. I brought WAY too many clothes for myself and Alana.

We arrived in Maui around 6pm, collected out luggage and rental car and then we were on our way to our hotel that was about an hour away. We arrived at the Ritz Carlton with the warmest aloha and the most amazing customer service I have ever experienced at a hotel. We made our way down to our suite and I quickly unpacked all the bags to get them put up and out of the way. One of the best things, in this mom’s eyes, about the hotel was that we had free laundry! They even had the soap and dryer sheets! This came in handy for washing our very dirty travel clothes and any of Alana’s clothes she got a little too messy. We were also able to come home with luggage full of clean clothes and I didn’t have to do any laundry right away!

This trip was very different from our other trips to Hawaii (2011, 2012, 2015). This was all around what Alana wanted to do and very little of what we wanted to do. We took family pictures first thing the next morning which in hindsight might have been a mistake with the time change. After we all took a little nap, headed down to the pool for some lunch and then off we went for some whale watching. We didn't get quite the show we did back in 2015 but we did get to see a cafe with its mom learning how to breach...reminded me of a puppy! 

How have your family vacations gone?!

Wisconsin Life Update

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Wow, there I go dropping off the face of the blogging world again! I actually started to type this post at the end of November!!! What have we been up to?! Well we finally moved into our new house in Wisconsin! YAY!!!! We moved in back in October and things have been busy, busy, busy ever since!

Along with moving, unpacking, painting and day-to-day life I have also gone back to a 9-5er. I started in November and things are going well. I have gotten back into running; waking up at 4:20 2-3 days a week to run before work. I met an awesome group of ladies that help stay me motivated. I started running with this group of ladies back in October and I'm still there running in the morning. Even in -9 degree F temperature (-26 degrees with the windchill! BURRR!!!). I have also started my own bunco group.

So lets recap a few things with some pictures!

Alana and I did a Mommy and Me photo shoot which turned out amazing! She also took some school pictures that turned out ADORABLE! For Halloween Alana was Cindy-Lou-Who from How the Grinch Stole Christmas. Matt was suppose to be The Grinch but he didn't think dressing up was worth the effort since we only went to one house! I was just another Who from Whoville.

Thanksgiving was great! We spent in with new friends here in Wisconsin and we really enjoyed ourselves. I was in a rather creative mood and made some pretty darn good looking cupcakes and a cornucopia out of French bread. I'm hoping to get a blog post about both of these soon.

In early December we had our first real snow and we got our new puppy! An English Bulldog named Daisy. When Christmas came around we had a full house! My family (parents and brother) came up and so did my in-laws. We were so thankful and blessed that everyone got to come up and see our new house and spend time with Alana.

Next we are gearing up for more visitors - my best friend from Texas and her family are coming up to visit us this weekend! We're getting dumped on by snow at the moment so the timing is perfect!

Thanks for reading and hope you and your families had a wonderful holiday season!

Out on the Farm

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Our plan this past weekend was to visit a farm that had a pumpkin patch. But we had rainy weather all weekend so we went when we had some clear skies on Monday. We visited Mulberry Lane Farms up here in Wisconsin and they had a lot of things to do and see for the little ones. Alana had many firsts! She got to hold a kitten, pet a goat, a cow and a chick and she got to ride a pony! We also got to pick our own pumpkins fresh from the vines! It was a lot of fun and we will be going back in years to come!

She wasn't as brave as her little buddy that was with us. She just touched the animals once and then was ready to move on. Alana's friend on the other had would go all in and hug the animals, it was really cute!

We're suppose to have some great weather this weekend so we're going to load up and go hiking! What are your weekend plans?

Busy Bee

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

And I fell off the blogging wagon again! I have been busy traveling back and forth to Texas from Wisconsin. The week after Labor Day I traveled to Dallas for my Nerium Get Real Conference which was amazing! My favorite part was listening to Mel Robbins! Loved it!

Then the following Friday, the 16th, I flew back down to Houston to monitor our move. Yes, we finally sold the house! It was really bitter sweet. My dad came for the weekend to help me pull all our stuff out of the attic and say "goodbye" and then I watched them pack all of our stuff up and I can't help but wonder where we are going to put all this stuff in our new house!


And this past weekend my in-laws came into town for a quick visit.

Busy, busy, busy! This week is finally back to normal! Today I was hopping all over the place doing drug testing for the new job, checking out new daycare, buying winter clothes and getting our AAA membership and insurance transferred to the state of Wisconsin.

It has finally started to get "cold" up in Wisconsin. I say "cold" because to locals its not cold at all, but to this southern gal ... I'm freezing! I am hoping we can do an apple orchard or pumpkin farm thing this weekend and really embrace the fall weather!

What are your plans for the weekend?

Day Trip to Door County

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Over Labor Day weekend we took a day trip to Door County, Wisconsin. Door County is the peninsula that jets out into Lake Michigan. Its full for small harbor towns that seem to be stuck in time. My favorite was the Swedish Restaurant that had a grass roof, in classic Scandinavian style, that had goats on top to "trim" the grass!

{Al Johnsons Swedish Restaurant}

We decided to go all the way to the tip of the peninsula and take the ferry to Washington Island. The ferry ride is short one, never more than 30 minutes. Once on the island we hopped on the Cherry Train. Its really a few trolley cars attached to a truck and it drove us around the island giving us a little bit of history and making a few stops along the way.

We stopped at the island's Art & Nature Center, Schoolhouse Beach Park, their Wisconsin Farm museum, and the Nordic Church. The island is FULL of other things to do such as their lavender farms and little tourists shops.

{Schoolhouse Beach, Washington Island}
We would LOVE to go back and take some bikes and bike around the island and/or take some camping gear up there for a weekend!

Hope y'all are having an amazing week!!

Point Beach State Forest & Manitowoc

Friday, September 2, 2016

A few weekends ago we took a short 1 hour-ish drive to Point Beach State Forest. Point Beach State Forest is located on the shores of Lake Michigan near Two Rivers, Wisconsin. It was a little too chilly to swim but I am looking forward to visiting again on a warmer day and maybe doing some stand up paddle boarding!

After we had lunch in the state forest we headed down to Manitowoc...well, because we had watched the Netflix series Making a Murderer. Along with being home of the infamous Netflix series its also the home of the Wisconsin Maritime Museum. I thought the admission fee was a bit high but it was decent museum and it had tours of a working submarine. So we took the tour of the USS Cobia which was neat to see just how small these things are and how they work.

This weekend we head to Door County to visit Washington Island. Hope y'all have an amazing Labor Day weekend!

Toddler Road Trip Essentials

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

There were a few products I wanted on hand for our cross country road trip and temporary living.

First there are the diaper bag essentials of disposable bibs and placemats.

Then we purchased a ez pz suction plate, a Go Anywhere Booster Seat and I cleared an old iPhone downloaded with Fisher Price apps for those moments when nothing else would calm her. And of course a Pack-n-Play.

I love the ez pz plate, it just sticks to a flat, even surface and your kid doesn't pull the plate up and throw their food all over the place!

The travel booster seat came in SO handy when we were staying at the in-laws and its great in our extended stay hotel.

I love the Fisher Price apps because I know they are geared towards kids her age and she loves the music and tries to sing along :)

The Pack-n-Play is good but for her it doesn't compare to her crib, she misses her mattress. I even bought a foam insert for the Pack-n-Play and that didn't work either. So we have begun to let her sleep on the bed and we have bought a bed rail so she doesn't fly off the bed.

What travel essentials have you found that work great for you?!