What happens when you’re gone?
You may not want to think about something happening to you while traveling, or any other time for that matter, but the truth is it is a reality. Will & estate planning is so important for many reasons. What happens to your children? Your money? Your home and personal belongings? What about your dog?
As much as it sucks to think about it, planning for death is important. Having a will can save your family and loved ones from added heartache, confusion, and tough decisions
If this is something that you haven’t done, or at least considered, I highly recommend reaching out to a local attorney to at least discuss the process.
I rest easy knowing that if something were to happen to us that these babes will be well taken care of without question of where they’ll end up. Below are a few reasons why having a will is so important.
Who Gets What | If you don't have a will, your assets could be divided by your state. A will tells the state/courts who you want to go what. Your assets could include money, but also physical items (home, vehicles personal belongings, etc.)
Naming Guardians | Should something happen to you, who will take your children? Or what happens to your dogs/pets? Without a guardian named, it is up to the state.
Trust | Set up trusts for your children with your assets, especially if they are minors. This protects the monies from frivolous spending and/or from others. The funds would be protected until a set future date or age. A trust can help set your kids up for success.
How do you want to be laid to rest? | A will can also address how you wish to be laid to rest. Do you want to be cremated or buried? Where do you want to be buried? Where do you want your ashes to be spread? You can list in as little or as much detail as you'd like about your final wishes in a will.
Save your family the heartache of these decisions by writing out your final wishes ahead of time.
Disclaimer: This is not intended to serve as legal advice. Please consult your attorney.
Why Honeymoon Year After Year
A Yearly Getaway Can Strengthen Your Marriage
I’m constantly telling my friends that this is what they need in their lives, especially those with little ones! It is hard for me to put into words just how much traveling together has strengthened our relationship, and I genuinely want that for everyone.
For us it isn’t about escaping home life, it is about improving it, cherishing it even more, and putting each other first. To help give you a bit of understanding on why we put a romantic getaway at the top of our to do list each year, I’ve put together the top reasons we honeymoon every year and why you should too!
Five Reasons Why Couples Should Honeymoon Every Year
Destress & Relax | Let’s just get this out of the way and admit it—life is hard, y’all! Even if you love your job, work is stressful, our kids get the best of us while we get what is leftover of each other, and sometimes it is hard to shut out the noise of the world. Getting away together gives us a chance to destress and relax together. It gives us an opportunity to lay out our stressors on the table and leave them behind. We can shut out the world and just be.
Focus on Us | A vacation, just the two of us, allows us to focus on each other. As I mentioned, and like many other couples, we get what is left of each other at the end of the day. Meaning jobs, kids, house, etc. get the best of us, and we are left with each other’s sloppy seconds. Making a yearly honeymoon a priority, gives us the chance to focus on us and only us.
Team Building | This might sound silly, but this time gives us the opportunity to team build, because at the end of the day the two of us are a team. We talk about the day to day, brainstorm about the future, and head home feeling more and more in sync with our goals as individuals, as a couple, and as a family.
Sex is Better on Vacation | I said it! Sex is good at home, but damn it is HOT on vacation! #sorrygrandma Away from the stressors of everyday life, you can do it whenever, however, wherever you want! I PROMISE you’ll go home feeling way more connected than ever before!
You Deserve It | The two of you manage jobs, a home, maybe kids, bills, and all the joys of everyday life, and that deserves some recognition. Give yourself and your marriage the gift of travel, because you absolutely deserve it with how hard you work every single day. You and your marriage will thank me for it!
I cannot reiterate this enough, it is such a game changer for a relationship to make travel apart of it, and even more so to make it a yearly must. If you’re ready to start making an annual honeymoon a priority in your life, let’s chat! Click here to schedule a consultation call and we can have the two of you on your way to relaxing, reconnecting, and sexing it up on some beautiful beach in the Caribbean!
Tantrums, sunburns, jellyfish stings, and endless whining—that’s now how I want to do a beach trip, and I’m betting that’s not how you want yours to go either.
Our two-year-old twins have been on quite a few beach trips now, so I’m inclined to call myself a pro! Ha—I wish. I will say that over the past few summers that I’ve learned a thing or two to keep things pleasant for everyone. Tricks on keeping the day rolling along, tips on how to keep everyone safe, I’ve covered it all.
Whether you are going on a quick summer trip or planning a big family vacation to the Caribbean, my experiences can benefit you, because we have done it all! Our big family vacation to Turks & Caicos earlier this year was a true dream, though in a stunning place, we endured our share of tantrums and fits, because, hello, kids do not care the location. Ha! Our yearly summer trips to the Texas Coast with extended family pose their share of challenges as well—heighten anxiety with varying personalities and more kids all in one space (condo or house). Managing all of the feelings and anxieties of beaching with babes brings can be a challenge, but my tips help make it all as seamless as possible.
Without further ado, here are my ten tips for beaching with babes & toddlers!
Pack a Cooler | I love to plan to stay out on the beach all day. It just makes things easy so you aren’t trekking back and forth to your condo/house/room. With this, you need food and drinks. So, plop a cooler in a wagon, and fill ‘er up with bottled water and sandwich goodies for lunch and bring a bag with all of the extras (bread, chips, etc.). Don’t forget the paper plates/napkins
Shady Spot | Plan a place for shade & napping—whether you bring a small pop up tent, a wagon with a cover, or easy up canopy. A tent or canopy is not only great to escape the sun, but perfect for naps. We also love our Radio Flyer Wagon that has a covered top. Throw in some beach towels, and you’ve got the perfect toddler bed!
Beach Toys | This is a given—all the beach toys are a must! We have several fun sets from Target. Make sure to get a variety to keep their interest for an extended time. Along with buckets and shovels, we love options with small wagons and other push toys. A kite is also a really fun “toy” to bring along! The kids also seem to love to watch it fly among the sea breeze. For older kids boogie and skim boards are a huge kit as well.
Routine | To keep attitudes in check, try to stick to your regular schedule. We usually head down to the beach after breakfast and stick to our regular lunch and snack schedules. If you can get the kiddos to nap, that’s major bonus points, and you’ll be able to enjoy the beach a little longer. We head typically head in around our usual bath time and get started with dinner. By then, everyone is tuckered out, and ready for bed.
Mix Things Up | To keep interest piqued, mix up the day with sand toys, water play, sandcastle building, walks, shell hunting, etc. Just like at home, when you notice they are getting bored or cranky, divert and look to another activity.
What to Pack | Of course you’ll want to pack the basics, sunscreen and spare swim diapers, but there are a few other things you might not think about. Pinterest “says” baby powder is a must for getting sand off your legs and feet, but I must be doing that wrong. Ha! It just doesn’t seem to work for me, but maybe it will for you. My musts are Aquaphor (for rash from the sand), trash bags for the diapers, and an extra swimsuit because it is no fun trying to get a wet swimsuit on a toddler! Another fave for me is Turkish towels—they dry quickly and repel sand better than other towels. Don't forget the life jackets as well. There is some controversy around Puddle Jumpers, but since we aren't really "swimming" they work perfectly for our beach days. The babes for more secure and comfortable in the waves with it on. For smaller babies, a Bumbo Chair is super handy for them to sit up and enjoy the scenery.
All Eyes on Deck |Assign each adult a child, all while keeping your eyes on everyone. Sounds simple enough, right?! JThis is probably where most folks’ anxiety with kids and the water comes from; I know it is for me anyway. But it is reassuring to know that each of us is assigned a child. We also try to tag team an adult or two playing in or nearer to the water, and some up on the beach. It also helps if you can choose a spot on the beach that offers plenty of distancing between other families. This keeps your eyes focused on your own crew, and not distracted with other people in the mix.
Portable Fan | A great addition to our beach trips, especially for the really little ones, is a portable fan. You can find battery operated options for ten bucks on Amazon. Not going to lie, it’s a nice relief for myself too on super-hot days. Hehe!
Change of Clothes | May seem silly, but I like to bring a change of regular clothes as well. This is especially helpful if you drive to the beach from your condo/house/hotel or plan to head out to eat for dinner. Baths are until right before bed, because ocean humidity is no joke. So for a few reasons, having a quick change of clothes is helpful.
Snacks, Snacks, and More Snacks | Did I say snacks? You will definitely want to make sure you have plenty of snacks. A must for us is fruit to keep hydration up. We just pop a container of cut watermelon & cantaloupe in our cooler, and even whole peaches and plums. When the kiddos get messy, they just wash off in the ocean!
I’m sure there are tons more tips and tricks out there for managing a beach trip with kiddos, but these are the few that keep me sane. Do you have any other tips for surviving AND enjoying a beach trip with kiddos? Be sure to share them in the comments.
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Our quarantine and social distancing adventures have included watching dog sledding movies and reminiscing on one of the greatest experiences I’ve ever had. Just watching these movies, you can feel love of the musher for his dogs and dogs for his musher.
It’s a relationship of loyalty, love, even sacrifice, and extreme resilience—attributes we could all cling to at a time like this. I hope that’s what can be for each other, a means of hope. So let’s continue to cling to each other, lift each other up, and sprinkle love out into the world.
We are using films to continue on our adventures. How are you curing your desire to get out into the world during COVID-19? There are many ways we can travel right from our couch during these times, and even during other times travel isn't an option whether it be timing or budget. All of this got me thinking--we need a collective list to inspire our hearts for wanderlust.
So I sat down and created ideas on how to curb wanderlust when you can't travel during COVID-19 quarantine and social distancing. These activities are also perfect for other times when we just need a staycation, but also a bit of adventure. Whether it be film, television, books, or virtual reality, we have techonology on our sides. Without further ado, here are my tips for curing the travel bug from home.
Movies | Film has just always been such a big part of my life, and piquing my interest in travel. These times are no different. There are ENDLESS options, but here are some movies that we are loving to keep us longing for adventure or immersed in destinations.
Adults—Eat Pray Love, Roman Holiday, Crazy Rich Asians, Sex & the City, The Way
Family—Up, Togo, Wild America, Zeus & Roxanne, Rio, Home Alone 2, Aladdin, The Lion King
TV Shows | There are so many great television shows out there for the wanderer's heart. These are a few that came to mind, included a good toddler option. There are so many more, but these are our favorites.
Adults—The Crown, Yellowstone, Anthony Bourdain Parts Unknown
Family—Serengeti, Mickey Mouse Mixed Up Adventures, National Geographic, Animal Planet
Virtual Activities | So many museums, zoos, and more offer virtual tours of exhibits or live cameras of animals. I have enjoyed this particular activities SO much, as some of these places are still on my list of places to visit, so it is great to get a taste of them. I've included links for each.
Museums--The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, The Louvre, The Vatican Museum
Zoos--National Aquarium, San Diego Zoo, Houston Zoo
Amusement Parks--Walt Disney World, SeaWorld Orlando
Cities—Apple Maps & Google Maps Flyover city tours (search a city (New York City, Sydney, Paris, etc., click the "Flyover" or "City Tour" option, and enjoy!)
Memory Keeping + Reminiscing | Creating ways to reimmerse yourself into your past vacations is a great way to keep those memories alive for rainy days. Not to mention, you want to prerserve those memories for years to come. There is no better way to do that than getting those photos off of your phone, and into tangible keepsakes to look back on. You can also take a look at how I document our travels here.
Scrapbook—Spend time scrapbooking your vacation memories.
Photobook—Not crafty? Download an app like Chatbooks or Shutterfly to easily create a photobook.
Memorabilia boxes—Decorate boxes to house memorabilia from your vacations
Reminisce—look back on your vacation memories together
Books | Books and movies are a solid tie for me. I cannot choose one over the other, but it is wonderful what books leave to the imagination! Here are some of my favorie books to spark wanderlust, and a few on my "to read list."
Adults—Call of the Wild by Jack London, The Royal We by Heather Cocks & Jessica Morgan, Crazy Rich Asians Trilogy by Kevin Kwan, In a Sunburned Country by Bill Bryson, The Georgraphy of Bliss by Eric Weiner, The Good Girl’s Guide to Getting Lost by Rachel Friedman, Tracks by Robyn Davidson
Kids—The Madeline Series by Ludwig Bemelmans, Oh, the Places You’ll Go by Dr. Seuss, The Boxcar Children by Gertrude C. Warner, Little Traveler Set by Mudpuppy, From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E.L. Konigsburg, The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis
Plan a Vacation | Yep, what better way, besides an actual trip, to curb wanderlust than to start planning your next vacation! We may not be able to travel in the foreseeable future but traveling will reign again! To be honest, this is the best way for me to cure my aching for the skies and new places heart—planning future vacations. Having something wonderful to look forward to helps keep my fidgeting in check. Hey, we can even work together to prepare a vacation itinerary for you, then start booking whenever you are ready! Ready to cure your wanderlust? Start planning here.
As you can see, there are so, so many ways we can “travel” right from home! How are you coping with staying in during the COVID-19 crisis or other times lacking adventure? Be sure to share your ideas in the comments. Thank you for reading. Stay well & healthy, friends!
Bright and early tomorrow morning, we are headed out on our next big family adventure! This time to an exciting tropical locale. Though this adventure's packing is quite different from the last (Alaska), our survival tactics for flying with the twins will be the same. To refresh my own memory, and mentally prepare myself for the feat, I jotted down a few tips and tricks for surviving flying with toddlers, and twins no less!
Read on to catch my 10 tips and tricks to flying with toddlers.
Ziplock Bags | One word. Poop. Or even vomit/spit up. Bring a spare set of clothes, for baby/toddler/child and for yourself in ziplock bags. If you need to change the baby's clothes from a blow out or your own clothes from being spit up on, then you'll have a bag to seal in the smell. This also works well for dirty diapers on the plane. I always want to be courteous of others, so it's a nice gesture to slip the dirty diaper into a ziplock bag (and seal) before throwing it in the trash bin. Also, a great idea for your hotel room when you don't have quick access to an outside trash.
Snacks | Keep 'em coming! Pack lots of snacks for the plane ride. Allow the toddler to snack during take off and descent to assist in ears popping. Not to mention snacks keep kids happy!
Books + Small Toys | Allow your little one to pack their own small bag with a book or two and a small toy to keep them occupied during the flight. Ours especially love books, so these were the perfect way to keep them entertained.
Stroller | Don't try lugging a toddler along with your suitcase around the airport. Bring a stroller! You will be required to check it at your plane's gate, but it's free! Note: you will be asked to remove the child to go through security.
Carseats | Most airlines allow you to check carseats for free. Pop them in a travel bag, and you're good to go. I'm a fan of this one since it is padded all around. You can even add in addtional items like diapers. Also, if you are headed outside of the U.S. consider their local laws and driving habits. I.E. Caribbean Islands are going to have interstates and high speed highways, and, therefore, don't likely require carseats. If you're comfortable with it, consider living the carseats behind.
Wings | Ask your flight attendant for wings for your kiddo. Major airlines give wings and log books for kids to keep track of their flights. The captain will even sign off. Such a fun little keepsake.
Run It Out | Allow your tots to run off some energy in the airport. Once you are all through security, let them walk, push/pull a suitcase, and burn off some energy before your flight. This will come in handy later.
Seat Belts | Starting out flying, when not a lap child, it is a good idea to have your little one go ahead and wear the seat belt. 1) They'll be required to for take off and landing. Sometimes attendants are lax on this, but it is the general rule. 2) It will make things easier when they are older and learning that it is a must.
No Nap | Whatever you do, hold off on that nap! Plan your flights to when your littles will nap, or be sure to not let them fall asleep just yet. It is pure heaven when they fall asleep in your arms mid-flight. Plus, they'll be refreshed and ready to hit the ground running once you land.
Be Flexible | Most importantly, be flexible. At the end of the day, toddlers are toddlers. And, as you know, they make their own rules.