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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
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
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
Awesome gifts for disny lovers

Disney Gifts for Mom : Awesome Gifts for Disney Lovers

One of my greatest joys in life is gift giving.  I LOVE the challenge of coming up with clever, thoughtful gifts for those that I love.  I don’t always succeed, but I try really hard to pay attention to things that people mention in conversation and watch for clues throughout the year of things I … Read more

Awesome gifts for disny lovers
Restoration on king

Restoration on King : The Best Place to Stay in Charleston

If you’re looking for a little dose of southern charm, put Charleston South Carolina on your list of places to visit.  John and I try and take a little time each year to get away and do something fun together.  Thank heavens for amazing grandparents who are willing to spend some quality time with their … Read more

Restoration on king
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
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
New orleans 14 city guide

Off the Beaten Path in New Orleans : A New Orleans Travel Guide

A small city with personality to spare, New Orleans is a lively city full of  more food, history, music and culture than most cities many times it’s size.  There is so much to New Orleans beyond Bourbon Street.  Visit New Orleans and spend a few days here wandering the streets of the French Quarter, exploring … Read more

New orleans 14 city guide
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
how to get to Zermatt

How to Get to Zermatt : Our Matterhorn Adventure

As a little girl growing up in Southern California, the Matterhorn was always a symbol of Disneyland to me.  I would see it standing tall on the side of Interstate 5 and it seemed to tower above everything else.  As I’ve gotten older and buildings have gotten taller, it’s a little harder to spot the … Read more

how to get to Zermatt
Visiting the cotswolds travel tips

Broadway United Kingdom : Cotswolds Villages

I have always loved the movie The Holiday.  Have you seen it?  It’s on repeat at our house throughout Christmas. 😉 The idea of spending the holidays in a cozy little thatched roof cottage in the Cotswolds is so appealing!  On a recent trip to Italy we found flights that made it cheaper to stop … Read more

Visiting the cotswolds travel tips
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
Borough market

Visit Borough Market : Amazing Food Market by London Bridge

If you love eating, drinking, and wandering stalls full of food and produce of every kind, then you do not want to miss Borough Market when you are visiting London.  This amazing food market by London Bridge has been around for centuries. You can walk and eat your way through history at the same time. … Read more

Borough market
Gifts for the traveler gift guide

The Best Travel Gear, Essentials and Gifts

We travel a lot.  It’s our passion, hobby, and many times, a necessity for work.  Splitting time between OC and Salt Lake now has me on the road more than ever.  I sat down to add it up the other day and realized that I had been gone for 162 days of the last year.  … Read more

Gifts for the traveler gift guide
Pacific rim view

Fairmont Pacific Rim: Best Hotels in Vancouver

If you’ve been visiting the blog for awhile, you know we love to travel.  Homeschooling the kids really allowed us to be a lot more flexible and travel in the off-season. When John has a work trip, we are able to tag along, which allows us to see much more of the country each year. … Read more

Pacific rim view
Disneyland at halloween tips

Best Disneyland Halloween Time Tips

It’s the most wonderful time of the year…Halloween at Disneyland! 🙂  Disney has definitely done a fantastic job of turning October into an even more magical time at the Happiest Place on Earth.  Are you considering taking a trip to Disneyland in October?  If you’ve never seen Disneyland decorated for Halloween, it is a must.  … Read more

Disneyland at halloween tips