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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

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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
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
Tower of london

What To See At The Tower Of London

When you are planning a family trip to London you must put a Tower of London visit on your list of things to do.  For centuries, families have lived and worked in this famous fortress — Royal families, guards, servants, even prisoners.  The Tower of London is a must see.   Wondering what to see at the … Read more

Tower of london
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

Instagram and featured image
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Best Brunch in Los Angeles and a Weekend Recap

What a week!  So much has happened at the Utah house, I’m actually headed back up there today because there are so many decisions to be made. All of this back and forth, leaving my kiddos and hubby behind are starting to wear on all of us I think.  This weekend my sweet husband surprised … Read more

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Nyc winter 4

HomeGoods & New York City, Two of My Favorite Things

I feel so fortunate to work with some of the best companies on the planet, and HomeGoods is definitely one of them.  Back in 2012, HomeGoods ran a contest on Facebook for fans of their page.  I, of course, being a huge HomeGoods fan couldn’t help but enter…the prize was a $250 gift card!  Visions … Read more

Nyc winter 4
Mt st jean 12

Mont-Saint-Jean, France: A Medieval French Hilltop Village

When we were planning our Europe adventure, we were going to be gone long enough that we felt fairly comfortable leaving some plans open ended and kind of letting life take us where it wanted when we were on the road.  One of those happy little unplanned surprises was a quick one night stay in … Read more

Mt st jean 12
Bayeux 15

Bayeux, France: Our visit to Normandy and Historic WWII Sites

John and I both happen to be history majors who share a particular interest in 20th century American history, in particular WWII for John…so needless to say, visiting Bayeux was high on our list while spending a few weeks in France.  Bayeux is a charming little French town located on the Aure river in the … Read more

Bayeux 15
Arles 18

Travel: Exploring the South of France: Arles

When it came time to plan our summer across Europe, the South of France was high on my list.  I envisioned planting myself in some Provencial home out in a beautiful field and letting the children roam with the goats and spend long days picking lavender and wildflowers.  I didn’t realize that along with beautiful, … Read more

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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
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Shopping In Paris: Tips for Finding Hidden Treasures

Paris is known for for great shopping, and it did not disappoint.  There are lots of great articles all over the internet about shopping in Paris and which neighborhoods offer the best shopping whether you are looking for high end fashion or home decor in the City of Lights, but I wanted to share a … Read more

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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
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Visit Haarlem Netherlands : Day Trips from Amsterdam

Amsterdam is such a charming city.  When we visited I wanted to get a chance to visit a bit outside of the city too.  Haarlem Netherlands was recommended by several friends, including Rick Steves, 😉 and after reading The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom I knew it was the perfect day trip from Amsterdam … Read more

Haarlem 26 1
Visit notting hill

Interesting Things to See in London: Notting Hill

When I think of Notting Hill, I think of a teeny bookshop nestled on a busy street full of white townhouses with colorful doors.  I also can’t get “Ain’t no Sunshine” out of my head. Needless to say, when we were planning our list of things to do in London, Notting Hill was a must … Read more

Visit notting hill
London eye 1 2

Take a Spin on the London Eye: Things to do in London

You’ve seen it in just about every skyline image of London, the huge ferris wheel towering 443 ft in the sky over Big Ben, the London Eye.    Before we left for London I read up on tings to see and do in London and this was definitely on the list.  There were many different … Read more

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Things to See in London : One Day Walking Tour

When we were planning our trip it seemed natural to start in London.  We figured we would have some culture shock, maybe a bit of homesickness at some point, and to be honest, we were a little bit scared when we left, simply because we had never attempted anything of this magnitude before and we … Read more

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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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Train rides through europe 1

Train Rides through Europe How it Works and What to Expect

Traveling through continental Europe by train is easy, convenient and reasonably priced.  If you are thinking about taking a trip and seeing more than one city or country, it is definitely an option you want to look at.  When coming from the United States it’s not necessarily the first mode of transportation we think of, … Read more

Train rides through europe 1
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Off the Beaten Path: Exploring Hidden Treasures in London

So often when we travel we feel like we barely have time to scratch the surface of the “main tourist attractions” of whatever city we happen to be visiting.  One of my favorite things to do when traveling is to get off that tourist trap path and explore smaller, lesser known parts of a city … Read more

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