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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
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
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
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 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
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
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
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
Best hilltop towns in italy montepulciano

Medieval Towns in Italy : Montepulciano Tuscany

If you are really looking for the ultimate Italian experience, you must visit Tuscany.  This rural and beautiful region is full of rolling hills dotted with stunning, living medieval towns.  When we traveled to Europe for our three month excursion, we knew one thing we really wanted was the quintessential Italian experience…to stay in a Tuscan … Read more

Best hilltop towns in italy montepulciano
Chicago travel tips 2018 copy1

A QUICK VISIT TO CHICAGO : CHICAGO TRAVEL TIPS

Happy Monday! (or is there such a thing 😉 lol!) . This past several weeks has been a whirlwind, and this weekend was no exception.  I hopped on a flight Friday morning to Chicago to meet up with some talented bloggers for a pow-wow.  While it was a super quick trip, it was also packed … Read more

Chicago travel tips 2018 copy1
the best restaurants orange county

Best Restaurants 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
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
prettiest afternoon teas London

Best Afternoon Tea 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
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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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the silos fixer upper

Visiting Magnolia Silos

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
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Knott’s Berry Farm Funpix

It’s no secret that I am a picture fanatic!  I usually have at least two cameras with me at all times and try to capture as many of our family’s adventures and as much of every day life as I possibly can.  I am a memory maker! Last week we were invited to visit Knott’s … Read more

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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

Eiffel 2 hero 681x1024 1
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
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
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
visit sleeping beauty's castle neuschwanstein castle

Where Is Sleeping Beauty’s Castle

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
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
Monarch beach resort

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
St pauls family 658x1024 1

How To Travel Europe For 3 Months

I can’t believe it’s been a year since we started planning and six months since we returned.  I’ve started this blog post probably 25 times, and just haven’t been able to adequately put into words the experiences of this past summer.  But now I’m feeling pressure to get it written down before the memories start … Read more

St pauls family 658x1024 1
Dijon France Travel

Where To Stay In Dijon

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
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
11 cadogan gardens london

11 Cadogan Gardens Review

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
Seattle troll 5

Fremont Sunday Market

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