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thyme hotel southrop england

Best Hotels in the Cotswolds : Thyme Hotel Southrop England

Have you ever been to the Cotswolds? The Cotswolds are a region in central to southwest London comprising more than 800 sq miles of lush rolling green hills, ancient moss covered stone walls, roaming sheep, wandering rivers, and quintessential English villages with their stone buildings and thatched roofs dotting the landscape. In other words, it … Read more

thyme hotel southrop england
best place to stay in waikiki the halekulani copy

The Best Place to Stay on Oahu : Halekulani Hotel

Staying at the Halekulani Sixteen years ago John read an article in Travel & Leisure about this magical place in Honolulu, right on a stretch of Waikiki Beach called the Halekulani. It was our tenth anniversary and we were heading to Hawaii to celebrate. We had spent our honeymoon in Honolulu and we were excited … Read more

best place to stay in waikiki the halekulani copy
London at Christmas

Visit London at Christmas : Things to See & Do

Christmas Markets, incredible lighting displays, festive decor, amazing shopping and dining, seasonal shows and events, and lots of entertainment are just a few of the many reasons that visiting London at Christmas is a must. I’ve been fortunate to spend time in many world class cities at Christmas time – Los Angeles, New York, Paris…and … Read more

London at Christmas
11 cadogan gardens london

Staying at The Apartments at 11 Cadogan Gardens in Chelsea, London

A trip to London always leaves me feeling inspired and like my cup is full. It’s always an absolute dream to be wandering down the bustling streets in this beautiful city lined with gorgeous townhouses and quaint shops and restaurants.  This post contains affiliate links. Click here to read my full disclosure policy. On our last couple … Read more

11 cadogan gardens london
Arizona Biltmore | Luxury Resort in Phoenix, AZ

Arizona Biltmore Luxury Resort in Phoenix Weekend Getaway

Summertime in Phoenix anyone? If you’ve been watching the news this week, I’m sure you’ve seen the record setting 100+ degree temps that they are currently dealing with…not unusual for Phoenix, but I’m sure it doesn’t typically scream “I want to vacation there right now!!” 😉 Well, hopefully this post might change your mind. John … Read more

Arizona Biltmore | Luxury Resort in Phoenix, AZ

Week in Review & A Weekend Trip to Dallas

I hope you are having a great start to your week. I spent yesterday being lazy and recouping from a busy week and now I’m ready to dive into another one! Do you ever need to do that? Just take a minute to kind of reset? I definitely do or else I can get kind … Read more

visit sleeping beauty's castle neuschwanstein castle

Visit Sleeping Beauty’s Castle : Neuschwanstein Castle Germany

It’s what fairytale dreams are made of…a princess castle nestled in the forest of Germany. Take one look at Neuschwanstein Castle in Germany and you can see how it inspired Walt Disney to create Sleeping Beauty’s castle. When we added Germany to our travel itinerary, driving out to see this gorgeous cliffside castle was a … Read more

visit sleeping beauty's castle neuschwanstein castle
prettiest afternoon teas London

The Prettiest Afternoon Teas in London

Ashley and I are headed on a little UK adventure in a few weeks so I’ve been researching (one of my favorite things to do when planning a trip!) for all the best of everything that London has to offer. I have been fortunate to spend a fair amount of time in London, but I … Read more

prettiest afternoon teas London
1 hotel brooklyn bridge review

1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge : A Beautiful Place to Stay in NYC

One Hotel Brooklyn Bridge is a sanctuary in the city. John and I had the chance to stay on a trip to the Better Homes & GardensStyleMaker conference and it did not disappoint! Located waterfront on Brooklyn Bridge Park, 1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge sits right beside the East River and five blocks west of the … Read more

1 hotel brooklyn bridge review
Dijon France Travel

Traveling to Dijon France : Dijon Hotels, Mustard & More

For Christmas last year we had the pleasure of traveling to France for the holiday break. As you know, if you’ve been following along with our travels for the last many years, we love to rent a car when we travel and drive all over creation. On this trip we started in Paris, where we … Read more

Dijon France Travel

The BEST Christmas Lights in London

Last December I had the pleasure of planning a trip to London at Christmas for some of John’s work colleagues…and lucky me, we got to join in on the fun! I had never been to London at Christmastime, but it was definitely on my list of things I needed to do. The best thing about … Read more

Hamyard bar featured

Destination Design: The Ham Yard Hotel, London

If you aren’t familiar with The Ham Yard Hotel, The Covent Garden Hotel, The Haymarket Hotel…well, any of the Firmdale Hotels for that matter, let me be the first to introduce you. 🙂  With eight boutique hotels in London, two in New York, and a handful of bars and restaurants, they are a growing company.  … Read more

Hamyard bar featured
The Seabird Resort | Beachfront Hotel in Oceanside, CA

The Seabird Resort | Beachfront Hotel in Oceanside, CA

I grew up in San Diego and admittedly never spent much time in Oceanside. We were a little bit inland and further south in San Diego..so our beach trips took us to La Jolla Shores, Del Mar and points south. Living in Orange County these last many years Oceanside has been a bit closer, but … Read more

The Seabird Resort | Beachfront Hotel in Oceanside, CA
the silos fixer upper

Travel Guide: The Silos from Fixer Upper and Magnolia Market

When Ash and I heard that John was headed to a conference in Dallas a couple of weeks ago, we immediately saw our chance to go visit The Silos from Fixer Upper and the shops at Magnolia Market so we grabbed a couple of plane tickets and tagged along. John and I had visited the … Read more

the silos fixer upper
the benjamin hotel

Best Places to Stay in NYC : The Benjamin Hotel

These past 2 years (I can’t even believe I’m saying that!) have felt a bit stifling, feeling stuck in one place and generally unable to travel. Things feel a little like they are starting to normalize in that department, we just got back from our first big trip in a few years and while it … Read more

the benjamin hotel
Paris in the fall

Why You Need to Visit Paris in the Fall

Paris is always a good idea…especially in the fall! I’ve had the pleasure of visiting Paris during three seasons, and let’s just say it’s beautiful every time I go, but something about Paris in the fall is magical. John and I had the opportunity to visit in late September back before the pandemic hit, and … Read more

Paris in the fall
the best restaurants orange county

My Guide to the Best Restaurants in Orange County

You may have heard me mention it here before a time or two ;), but I am a So Cal girl through and through. I was born and raised in San Diego and then transplanted to south Orange County 20 years ago when I got married and started my own family. I remember the day … Read more

the best restaurants orange county
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1 Hotel West Hollywood Review : A Weekend Getaway

Dare I say…travel is back? Could it be? I decided it was about time to dust off the travel archives and write a travel post. This has been the strangest 15+ months. I have never been so grounded. While there are parts of being a home body I have definitely enjoyed, the wanderlust has been … Read more

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Tips for traveling with kids

Organizing Tips for Traveling with Kids

January is always a great time for cleaning, organizing, reflection and goal setting. Having a slower month to focus on getting life in order for the new year is something I have really come to appreciate.  I’m excited to kick off a new year of blog hops with an organizational post. As I thought about … Read more

Tips for traveling with kids
Disneyland at Halloween Tips

Disneyland at Halloween : Fall Break Weekend Recap

I am a bit slow getting going this morning.  It’s a cold dreary day here in Utah, the tops of the mountains are covered in snow and it’s a bit of a rough re-entry after a fun weekend in the sun back home in OC.  This last week was our fall break…so we headed home … Read more

Disneyland at Halloween Tips
London in the fall

Things to do in London in September

John and I had the chance to spend a few days in London in September.  I love London…the hustle and bustle, beautiful architecture, history….so many things to see and do.  I’ve been fortunate to visit London on several occasions, but never without the kids and never in the fall.  I have to say…London in the … Read more

London in the fall
la petite venise

La Petite Venise : Visit Colmar Alsace France

There is no better time to travel than fall. Near perfect temperatures, reduced crowds and travel deals are just a few of the reasons to book a trip in September and October.  John and I put off celebrating our anniversary which falls in the heat of the summer, and instead opted for a celebration in … Read more

la petite venise
Things to do in new york city at christmas 1

Macy’s Santaland & Spending Christmas in New York City

Let me just start by saying, spending Christmas in New York City is as magical as it seems in all the movies and on TV.  This amazing city…that I love all year, just outdoes itself at Christmastime.  Macy’s Santaland, ice skating in Central Park, twinkle lights and music everywhere you look…it’s hard to not feel … Read more

Things to do in new york city at christmas 1
Places to stay near zion national park

Inn at Entrada : Places to Stay Near Zion National Park

If you have never had the opportunity to visit one or more of the National Parks, here is my formal invitation to make Zion National Park a vacation destination in the near future.  Living in Southern California my whole life and traveling back and forth between CA and Utah for school, St. George was always … Read more

Places to stay near zion national park
best places to stay in riva del garda

Best Places to Stay in Lake Garda & Things to do in Riva del Garda

The lakes region in Italy has become one of our favorite travel destinations.  Sparkling turquoise water, dramatic mountains jutting out of the lake, quaint villages and lots of activities for families and couples alike, it’s no wonder we love to visit!  Of all the lakes in Italy, Lake Garda is Italy’s largest. A quick 2 … Read more

best places to stay in riva del garda
Cinque terre villages

Cinque Terre Villages : Touring Italy

Cinque Terre quite literally means “five lands” in Italian.  Dotted along the Italian coastline these pretty little centuries old fishing villages have become a super popular tourist destination over the last several years.  Each of the Cinque Terre villages has it’s own charm, and each boasts colorful cliffside houses, steep rugged terraced land and quaint … Read more

Cinque terre villages
Fresh pasta to go venice italy with text

Pasta to Go Venice, Italy : Eating in Venice on a Budget

I like nice restaurants as much as the next guy, but sometimes when you are traveling…especially with kids and a family, you just want some good cheap street food or a hearty meal that is delicious and doesn’t break the bank.  Eating in Venice on a budget can be a bit of a challenge since … Read more

Fresh pasta to go venice italy with text
The best home decor stores in orange county

7 Best Home Decor Boutiques In Orange County, CA

I get asked all the time where to eat, shop and play in Orange County when people come to town, so I thought it was about time that I do some posts about the place I love so much.  Now that I am splitting time between SLC and OC, when I’m gone I REALLY miss … Read more

The best home decor stores in orange county
Things to do in jackson hole in the summer

Things to Do in Jackson Hole, Wyoming in September

Over Labor Day weekend we decided to make a last minute family trip to the town of Jackson, WY.  I had been to Jackson Hole, Wyoming many, many years ago as a kid when my family passed through on their way to Yellowstone National Park, but I didn’t remember much, and the rest of my … Read more

Things to do in jackson hole in the summer
Biltmore hotel arizona

Biltmore Hotel Arizona : Phoenix Family Vacation

We have been traveling to Phoenix for years for a fun desert getaway.  A quick drive from our home in Orange County and home to many of our extended family, we usually find ourselves there several times a year. Over spring break this year John was fortunate to have a conference at the Arizona Biltmore … Read more

Biltmore hotel arizona
Omni la costa resort and spa

Family Friendly Resorts in San Diego : Omni La Costa Golf Resort & Spa

If you are heading to Southern California and looking for beautiful, family friendly resorts in San Diego, look no further.  The Omni La Costa Golf Resort and Spa offers something for everyone in the family.  Golf, a beautiful spa, Kid’s Club, water slides…the list goes on.  Both John and I grew up in San Diego, … Read more

Omni la costa resort and spa
Eiffel 2 hero 681x1024 1

The Best View in Paris: The Arc De Triomphe

Ah, the City of Lights.  There are so many great places to visit in Paris that you can visit there multiple times and still not see everything.    Climbing to the top of the Eiffel Tower for breathtaking views of this magical city is undoubtedly one of life’s greatest thrills, a must do for anyone visiting … Read more

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Eiffel tower tips and tricks 1

Eiffel Tower Tickets to the Top : Summit Access

Here’s an interesting fact for you: The Eiffel Tower attracts more visitors than any other paid tourist attraction in the world.  So, needless to say, when you plan to visit Paris, it is incredibly important to be well aware of different Eiffel Tower tips and tricks for visiting the Eiffel Tower and getting Eiffel Tower … Read more

Eiffel tower tips and tricks 1
Visitor oyster cards

Visitor Oyster Cards : Tips for Getting Around London

If you are traveling to London you will, with out a doubt, need to familiarize yourself with public transportation while visiting.  Using the tube is the easiest and most cost effective way to get around the city. The endless system of trains, the Underground and buses make it simple to get all over Central London … Read more

Visitor oyster cards
Brunch at the beach

4 Best Brunch Spots at the Beach : Orange County

We already know it’s the most important meal of the day, but Breakfast served with a side of an ocean view isn’t just good for your body, it’s good for your soul. Here are what we consider to be the 4 best brunch spots at the beach in Orange County where you can grab some … Read more

Brunch at the beach
Chuck wagon dinner show jackson wy

Best Chuckwagon Dinner show in Jackson, Wyoming

If you are considering a trip to Jackson, Wyoming, hopefully you’ve read all about our favorite things to do in Jackson Hole,  and Chuckwagon dinner show is on your list of things to do.  After researching the options for the best chuckwagon dinner in Jackson, Wyoming before our recent trip, I settled on reservations for … Read more

Chuck wagon dinner show jackson wy
Hotel elefant salzburg austria

Best Family Hotels in Salzburg: Hotel Elefant Salzburg

When we decided to visit Salzburg, Austria during our summer in Europe, (a Sound of Music Tour was a must for us!) we knew we wanted to stay right in the heart of the old city center.  (affiliate links are included in this post) We spent some time researching the best family hotels in Salzburg. … Read more

Hotel elefant salzburg austria
Ariel 4

Disneyland: Character Dining at Ariel’s Grotto

As the mom of a little girl who practically lives in a princess dress, and a boy who has grown up with Lightening McQueen and Mater as his best buddies, we have spent more than our fair share of time visiting all of our favorite Disney friends up the street at The Happiest Place on … Read more

Ariel 4
Bruges belgium

Bruges with Kids : Things to do in Belgium

Our time in Europe has taken us to lots of big cities.  I love big cities, but I also wanted to explore the small towns of Europe and really get a feel for what it was like to live in a smaller town. A while ago I mentioned a bit about skipping Brussels if you are … Read more

Bruges belgium
Monarch beach resort

The Monarch Beach Resort – Kid Friendly Resorts in Orange County

Perched atop a beautiful bluff in Dana Point, CA, overlooking the glistening Pacific Ocean, the Monarch Beach Resort offers families looking for the perfect Southern California getaway a wonderful experience. I may be partial to Orange County, considering it is home, but let me tell you, after traveling the world, it really doesn’t get much … Read more

Monarch beach resort
Kimpton 2

Destination Design: The Goodland Kimpton Hotel, Goleta CA

Welcome to Destination Design, a new feature here on the blog.  This is something I’ve been wanting to start for awhile, and I’ve finally decided to just jump in with both feet.  I have a question for you… When you are browsing the internet, what makes you stop in your tracks and say WOW!?  What … Read more

Kimpton 2
Things to do in amsterdam with kids

Things to do in Amsterdam, Netherlands : Family Vacation Ideas

After a wonderful 10 days spent in London, we were excited to head off to the next destination of our family vacation, Amsterdam, Netherlands.  This was our first travel experience within Europe and boarding a plane in London to head from the safety of a country where everyone spoke English to head to a place … Read more

Things to do in amsterdam with kids
Sacre coeur

Visit the Sacre Coeur

I had been to Paris before, but I had never visited the Sacre Coeur.  This time, we made it a point to visit the Basilica located in the Montamarte, on the summit of the butte Montmartre, the highest point in the city.  The Montmarte is a bit of a gritty neighborhood and it was interesting to … Read more

Sacre coeur
Instagram and featured image

New York City at Christmas : Things to Do

It’s no secret that I love New York City.  Every chance I get I am sneaking away to the city that never sleeps.  I have always wanted to be in New York City at Christmas and last Christmas we had the chance to travel to New York City with kids and spend 10 days in … Read more

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Seattle troll 5

The Seattle Fremont Troll : Things to do in Seattle

Fairy tales are real!  Those pesky little trolls we read about as kids…well one of them is alive and well in Seattle living under the Aurora Bridge. The Fremont Troll is sure to delight your kids when you visit the Fremont District in Seattle.  When we were planning our trip for the family and looking … Read more

Seattle troll 5