Saturday, August 26, 2017

We’ve been using and enjoying Airbnb since we started traveling abroad three years ago. Now, it’s the only way we travel (if possible). It makes traveling accessible and affordable. My parents and sister even Airbnb’d a ship (boat?) in Greece for their accommodations. There are absolutely incredible Airbnb homes around the world for as little as $30 a night.

Some of the places we’ve stayed or will be staying at.





So it was a natural progression to become Airbnb hosts ourselves. This summer we listed our basement mini suite and to date we have been booked over 12 times, nearly every single weekend from August to October.

It’s been an adventure. Initially, we decided to host and kind of feel it out. Well, within the first 24 hours we were booked 7 times. We even had people wanting to come the very next day after listing. We scrambled. We thought we might get some interest around the eclipse, not really expecting to host so quickly or so much.

Thankfully, we made a few adjustments and things have been working well. I kind of secretly have always wanted to run a bed & breakfast since my college days. We’ve had fun setting up a homey and inviting space for our guests. I enjoy putting out special touches like fresh flowers and homemade baked goods. And, our guests seem to be enjoying it as well. We’ve had all 5 star reviews (knock on wood) and are on our way to becoming Airbnb super hosts!

So, the next time you have guests in town and need a place for them to stay, think of us! And, if you have a space your willing to rent out, we would be more then happy to refer you to Airbnb. Let us know!

Travel Season

Thursday, July 27, 2017

You already know about the 12 days we spent in Cabo and very soon we will be spending a week in North Eastern Oregon- one of our most favorite places on Earth. Soon after that trip we are headed back to France. This time we will visit not only Paris, but also Southern France in the towns of Arles (Provence) and Nice (French Riviera).

We haven’t traveled much since the arrival of the bébé. But, now we are blowing the dust off our suitcases and getting back on the airplane.

It’s always a tough decision to leave our children for any extended period of time. Of course we miss them like crazy and the logistics of caring for 5 children is complicated. Even with lots of family around to help it’s not easy. I would love to bring our kids with us, but most of the trips we have been able to take are relatively short and we move much too quickly for family travel. We usually are up early and out late. Walking 10-15 miles a day. There is little sleep involved.

So, in the next few weeks stay tuned! I’m bringing the blog along for all the preparations, travel, and fun. We also have some exciting things happening here on the homefront. And, if you have any questions be sure to leave a comment so I can answer them!

Cabo San Lucas Part Three- Flora Farm & Field Kitchen

Monday, July 24, 2017

Think of the middle of no where and go further down a bumpy dirt road through a desolate rugged desert. A place so unfriendly, the only inhabitants are prickly cactuses and sage brush. Then imagine a tranquil lush oasis. This is Flora Farm & Field Kitchen. Flora Farms is a 150 acre ranch that includes a restaurant, shops, spa, luxury cottages, and more. It has attracted big name celebrities and become a must see to and do in Cabo.

And, then there is us. Our first time to Flora Farm was magical and all that it was touted to be. I couldn’t take enough pictures of this beautiful place.

Our first stop was a quick stroll through some of the shops. Flora Farms has presentation done perfectly. In addition to jewelry, art, lotions, and soaps (all made by local artisans), you can also purchase produce from the farm, eggs, honey, sweet treats, and freshly baked bread.

We took advantage of the beautiful grounds and dusky twilight to take some family pictures.

Dinner was an experience we won’t forget. The food is delicious although pricey, but ambiance is worth every penny. The kids ran around under palm trees, looked for turtles in the pond, and played with the resident dogs. It was one of our best memories. If you are ever in Cabo, we highly recommend making the trip out to Flora Farms.

Cabo San Lucas Part Two- Our Favorite Places

Thursday, July 20, 2017

There are so many great places to eat in Cabo and although it has been 8 years since our previous trip we were happy that all our favorite places (and some news ones) were still there.

Favorite Cabo Restaurants

Romeo & Julieta
Cabo has some amazing Italian food! It often feels like your only two dining options are either Mexican or Italian and really who can complain about that?! Romeo & Julieta has been renovated since our last trip and it’s even more beautiful. We love the Caesar salad which is prepared at your table. Did you know the Caesar salad was created in Mexico? It’s true! In 1924 Caesar Cardini a Tijuana, Mexico restaurant owner had run out of food, but needed something to feed his guests, so he threw together what few things he had left and ended up with what is now the world famous Caesar salad. Another fun memory are the Mexican coffees which the waiters also prepare table side along with some fire showmanship.

Edith’s is legendary in Cabo for it’s beautiful outdoor dining and authentic fresh Mexican food. We celebrated our 19 year anniversary here and we went back our last night because it’s so good.

La Catrina Restaurant
We celebrated Colette’s birthday at La Catrina. It was actually our first time eating at the restaurant, which we stumbled upon walking up from the beach. It also happens to have some of the best reviews on Trip Advisor. The food was really good but what made the night memorable was the hostess who held and rocked Colette so that we could eat our dinner without holding a baby at the same time. Our kids talk about this night as one of their most favorite of the entire trip.

One of my parent’s favorite restaurants and another Italian gem in Cabo. We ate at Alcaravea twice in Cabo!

Other Fun Options

Mango Deck
The Mango Deck can get a little Cabo crazy depending on what time of day you visit, but they also have some of the best ceviche and tacos. Right on the beach it’s a fun place to hang out and get a good meal.

Tanga Tanga
Another interesting place to find cheap tacos and beers. What it lacks in ambiance it makes up for in an inexpensive meal.

Baja Brewing
Baja Brewing has an incredible view and a great happy hour. It’s worth taking the stairs to the top of this building where the restaurant is located just for the view alone.

As you can tell we enjoy eating out on vacation. It’s a treat that we don’t liberally indulge in at home. We see it as a privilege and something to look forward to. One of our most favorite nights is coming up in an entire post devoted just to that experience. Stay tuned for Flora Farms.

Cabo San Lucas Part One

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Let’s get caught up! It’s been far too long since I’ve put something out on the blog. Today, is a good day to start by posting some of our favorite pictures and memories from Cabo San Lucas. Back in June we spent 12 days in paradise. It had been 8 years since we last visited Cabo and it was the first time our entire family has flown together. We traveled with my parents, my sisters and their husbands, as well as my mother in law. Although, we weren’t all there together for the entire time. It was a lovely trip. I would go back in a heart beat if we could.

This is what 7 people’s luggage for 12 days looks like. Traveling with a baby also requires extra packing like car seats, pack n plays, strollers, carriers, etc.

We stayed at the Villa Del Par Mar beach resort. It was tricky getting us the right accommodations (the hotel was over booked) but we ended up with perfect ground floor rooms (3 rooms adjacent and/or on the same floor) that made access to and from the pool perfect. Especially when someone was covering for a napping baby.

Villa Del Par Mar is right on Medano Beach so we also got to enjoy the beautiful views on the Sea of Cortez. One of our favorite memories was watching the manna rays jumping in and out of the water.
Some of our favorite and not so favorite memories from the trip.

Poor Sweet Lawson broke his arm within the first 2 hours of arriving in Mexico. He spent his first night in Mexico in a hospital. I think all 7 of us cried that night. Definitely, memory making let me tell you.

O.K. So after that traumatic incident we rallied and got to enjoy the rest of the trip. By that time we REALLY needed a vacation. There was also so much to celebrate-Colette's first birthday, our 19 year anniversary, and my sister Alicea’s birthday. All 3 of our girls have turned one in Mexico! Brooklyn turned one in Puerto Vallarta, Ella in Cancun, and now Colette in Cabo.
I’ve got several more posts in the que including our favorite restaurants, celebrations, Flora Farms (!), and more.

High-End Style Low-Price Alternatives

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

After visiting Paris & Italy, I have a new appreciation for high-end fashion houses. Chanel, Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Prada, etc., are known for beautiful handbags, timeless style, and HIGH end price tags.

I’ve been lucky enough to receive a couple items, but in general my budget aligns better with good ‘ole American stores like GAP, JCREW, Old Navy, and Target.

I’ve had my eye on some Chanel shoes for a couple of years and I’m happy to share some great alternatives at very affordable prices.

Check out these look-a-likes!

The above Chanel espadrilles run somewhere around $650.00.

GAP has a similar pair for less then $30.00.

$600 Chanel ballet flats
JCrew Factory on sale now for $35.

I would hope that the high end designs are higher in quality both in product and manufacturing. At those prices they should last for YEARS. For $30.00 I don’t expect my GAP shoes to last more then a season or two. It’s a sad disposable world, but that’s an entirely different conversation.

Most people aren’t even going to know the difference and if they do, just walk really fast and they will hardly notice. :)


Easy Carrot Cake Pancakes

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Here is an easy, delicious, healthy, and protein packed breakfast perfect for spring. This recipe makes a lot of pancakes, but that’s ok. Freeze the extra and you’ll have an even easier breakfast for sometime in the future.

Easy Carrot Cake Pancakes

3 cups Kodiak Protein Pancake Mix
3 eggs
3 cups milk
1 carrot finely shredded on a microplane grater
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1 teaspoon vanilla
4 tablespoons maple syrup
pinch of salt

Coconut oil

Chopped walnuts
Shredded coconut

Whipped cream cheese

Add the first block of ingredients to your blender and blend until evenly combined. Don’t put the add-ins in yet.

Use coconut oil on a hot griddle and pour desired pancake size batter. Before you see bubbles start to form on the pancake batter sprinkle in the add-ins. Cook for several more minutes and flip pancake.

Once your pancakes are cooked top with whipped cream cheese.


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