in whistler

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For the first time in maybe ever, I agreed to go on a cold weather vacation. Typically, I would argue that the term ‘vacation’ is used exclusively in scenarios where sun and sand are involved and ‘trips’ are weekends that include the cold white stuff. But, this weekend turned out to be a true vacation. We met our friends Bryan and Natalie in Whistler for a little out of town escape. For me, ski was more of code word for eating, shopping and ice skating but everyone else got a little time on the slopes.

The true highlight for me was the ice skating. It was a first for both myself and M and by the end, we thought we were regular Michelle Kwans out there.

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We ate, we drank, we played in the little bit of snow that was on the ground and we put that record on repeat for three days. It was perfection.

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eating portland

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Last weekend, we set out on a 24 hour journey to Portland. Our friends Bryan and Natalie moved to SouthWest Portland about a month ago and we were anxious to be their first visitors. We took off on Saturday at M’s nap time hoping for a quiet trip down I5 and walked in their front door almost exactly 3 hours later.

Let’s talk about Portland for a minute. EVERY stereotype you have heard about it is true. When I traveled for work, people used to snarl at what a liberal city Seattle was. It never failed that they would mention our tendency to be green. We recycle (like that’s bad? working on the environment here people) and they always ALWAYS commented on the rain. The thing is, if you think Seattle is too liberal, maybe NEVER go to Portland. It’s a city after my heart in some ways. It’s fairly small for a major city so a car is almost unnecessary (we got in ours once all weekend), the Willamette River runs right through the city making it easy to watch boats, wet suit sporting swimmers and we even saw a submarine , plus, it’s almost crazy relaxed. Oh, and they have good donuts.

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DSC_2312 DSC_2303DSC_2300We walked and ate our way through this town. In one short trip, we had Voodoo Doughnuts, Salt and Straw Ice Cream  and one of my favorite coffee’s ever, Stumptown. I got a small feeling for what I would be like as a New Yorker…fat. Each step I took was almost an excuse to eat more junk food. Plus, once you were already standing in front of the hour long line for donuts, it seemed like no big deal to jump right in. Never can I live in a walkable city. Apparently, I would eat my way through it.

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Enjoy!

kauai || what we did

DSC_1862 DSC_1876 DSC_1874 DSC_1905 DSC_1907A few weeks ago, M and I took a trip to Kauai to visit my parents. They moved ‘home’ almost a year ago now and even with the distance, we are tying to make sure M gets to spend some time with her ‘tutus’ (a common Hawaiian name for grandparents). This trip, we spent a lot of time exploring the west side of the island. While it was raining on the other end, this side of Kauai stayed dry and sunny for us. We had our first Jo Jo’s experience for shave ice and spent lots of time at the beach. Relaxing was the name of the game.

Both of my favorite activities from this trip were set up by my sister. She lived on Kauai before moving back to the Seattle area and was a great partner in exploring the island. Although I’ve spent time there in the past, I am still not as familiar with the all the fun spots she is. She booked an adventure exploring the Napali Coast for us and also showed us where to rent beach cruisers for a fun bike ride.

DSC_2073 DSC_2034 DSC_2074My parent’s keep mentioning that M can spend her summer vacations with them when she’s older but I’m pretty sure there is no way I’ll be missing out on those trips. We had such a good time with them and I love the slow pace of Kauai. It’s one of those vacations that you don’t need a separate vacation from. You know the kind. DSC_1932 DSC_2079

I have one more post about my favorite new shop on Kauai coming but, for now, I’ll stop teasing you with pictures of the islands. If you have a trip to Kauai planned, I would love to hear from you. I have so many more recommendations (hellooooo Puka Dogs) and know a few fun places to play on the island for those who are interested.

 

Enjoy! Melissa

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M has a few happy places but I think the happiest of them all is on a beach. I know it has something to do with my casual attitude once the sun kisses my cheeks and my toes feel the sand but mostly, I think she belongs in such a free space. She can run without me hounding her to stay near. She can build and tear down sand castles with pride. Nobody is trying to fix her messy hair or even make her wear bottoms if she doesn’t want to. Happy.

Enjoy! Melissa

in my suitcase

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We are home from just over a week in Hawaii and although I miss my family, the palm trees and the whole toes in the sand thing, there is just something about your own bed that is so inviting. Am I right or am I right?

Anyway, while we were there, we moved between my parents house, an ocean front rental cottage and a hotel. I must have packed and unpacked my suitcase 20 times. I’m guessing that I left a piece of us at each location because man, M has lot of a stuff to keep track of. But, before I left anywhere, I checked and double checked that I had these five things with me. I couldn’t have made it a single day without them.

Babyganics Natural Insect Repellent : The bugs just eat M and I up on vacations. Last trip, I was unprepared and spraying her with any bug spray I could get my hands on. I felt so guilty about the chemicals while I was doing it but in the heat of the moment it was bug bites or bug spray. Spray won. This trip, I was ready for those blood suckers with this and it totally helped. We each ended up a with a few bites but nothing like last trip.

Neutrogena Sunblock Stick : Not only does this make sun blocking M’s face quick, it distracts her while I lotion up the rest of her body. She likes to apply this to her face herself. Wait until you see how white her face is in all of our pictures!

Rash Guard : Like I said, applying sun block to a toddler can be tricky. This helps so I can shield her from the sun and avoid a fight. Win!

Puddle Jumper Floatation Device : It is so funny to watch M walk around in these. She can’t put her arms down to her side so she’s like a little robot waddling around. But, when she’s in the water, these are a awesome. She swam like a fish with very little help from me.

Elastic Hair Ties : Vacation hair is sometimes not the best hair. Humidity is not my or M’s friend. So, both of us had our hair up using these ties almost the entire trip. Lifesaver.

Enjoy! Melissa

 

the many ways to drink a coconut || from kauai, hi

PicMonkey Collage.pngHi, from Kauai! I feel like I survived a boxing match or maybe even a fight to the death to get here on a night time flight. I mistakenly thought M would sleep on a late flight. No such luck. But you know what, I made it. We survived and we’ve made it to my parents humble abode for a short visit. So far, we’ve been to the beach, rented beach cruisers and cracked some coconuts open for fresh water. We are totally missing Ky at home but he’s working on a long list of honey-do items while we are gone. I’m guessing my yard will be magazine ready when I see it next.

Also, I’m posting away on Instagram while we are here so check it out if you have a trip to Hawaii in your sights.

Enjoy! Melissa

LA via iPhone

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This past weekend, we made a super quick trip to LA to visit some family. Ky’s brother recently purchased a home that is in need of {uh-hem} some {a lot} renovations and my handy-dandy husband went down to help. As M isn’t so into chores, large tools or yard work my job was to keep her out of harms way. So, while my husband and his siblings worked, M and I made our own LA LA Land fun.

I am hoping we were both somewhat successful in our missions. The house will be amazing when it’s done and it was fun to be able to ‘help’ with their project.

My Trip ||

I spent time in Venice on Abbot Kinney visiting my favorite paper store, Urbanic, eating and well eating more. I also drug M to The Grove and we found her a little Blabla Doll as a souvenir.

Side Note: There were all these cute dolls in the store. Bunnies, little girls with tutus on and animals. My daughter picked up the only boy doll and started kissing him immediately. So, sheriff, welcome to the house!

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Ky’s Trip ||

I’m not even sure what my hard working hubby did on the roof but apparently it had something to do with words like flashing and a compressor. {No clue} These are his pictures from the photo stream we share. Exciting huh? The good news is that this Seattle kid did get a great tan from being on the roof all weekend. {woo}

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I know! I know! I got the better end of the deal on this. But hey, someone has to make sure the baby isn’t sorting through construction materials and it was easier to take her out then chase her around the house all day. So, really, this was just me being as helpful as possible {or that is what I’ll continue to tell myself}. And, we did have a little bit of time to share some meals and a little sun fun as a family. More on that tomorrow!

Enjoy! Melissa

Window Shopping || The Grove

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After months of seeing all the LA’ers I follow on Instagram shopping at The Grove and watching Mario film there on Extra, it was on my list of ‘must go’ places for our short trip to LA over the weekend. On Sunday, I forced both my sister-in-laws to wake up early after a night out, made them hang on for dear life as I drove in my Seattle style around the city and trotted us around one of the most unique shopping centers I have ever been to. {Don’t you wish you were related to me? So many rude perks!}

Unfortunately, M wasn’t as impressed as I was. She had a really hard time adjusting to hotel sleeping while we were there and was off her normal schedule. That made it so her and I got to appreciate the ‘streets’ of the mall and not much of the inside of the stores. However, I did spot a few items that I was coveting while I was keeping her happy with a rice cake, constantly moving stroller and passing by all the awesome window displays. {This is the part where Ky thanks her for not letting me buy up the entire Grove.}

So now, I have a window shopping wish list that I’ll have to fulfill via the not as fun and more typical Seattle area malls. Nothing like teaching your daughter the fine art of shopping {sorry Ky}!

AG + Liberty Daisy Cut Off Jeans ; Mila Skirt ; Athens Colorblock Jacket ; Colorblock Maxi ; Striped Lorens Pants ; Denim Biker Jacket ; Bleach Chambray Shirt Dress ; Pleated Floral Maxi Skirt

Memorial Day Weekend

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Happy Tuesday after Memorial Day Weekend! Isn’t there just something about a long weekend that makes Tuesday feel so refreshed and special? It’s like after all your running around, you actually got a moment to rest and breathe.

So, thank you Memorial Day Weekend for a little time to spend with my family, just spending!

We did our share of running around. We ran a 5K together, quickly made an Ikea stop, sold my little car and updated to a mom vehicle, ate some yummy food truck goodness, attended one of M’s best little friends birthday parties, ran errands and watched 3 whole movies. I would say that’s a total success for a stay-cation. More on some of this later but for now, I’m still basking in the moments we got to play together.

And, check out this saucer swing. Amazing, right? M didn’t know what hit her with this crazy contraption and, I couldn’t let her have all the fun so I jumped on too.

Enjoy! Melissa

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Traveling With A Little

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As Promised, a week after arriving back to the Pacific Northwest and all it’s glory, I am going to stop looking at vacation pictures now. But, lets wrap it up with some things I learned while traveling with an 11 month old.  Our trip was maybe a little different because we were visiting family which comes with certain luxuries.

|| Borrow what you can! My sister-in-law let us confiscate her stroller, car seat and high chair for the week. Amazing! It cut down on the stuff we were schlepping through the airport and gave M her own personal conveniences. With the amount of stuff we already had with us, I don’t think we could have handled adding these additional items to our load and we used all three items daily on our trip. Then, when we were leaving, we just nicely packed them all up and left them behind. Couldn’t ask for a better system! ||

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|| Take Time For Yourself! Again, I know that we were awarded this time because we were visiting family but I feel like most of my friends are taking trips either with their family or to see family these days. So, use them. They want nothing more then to spend time with your little and you want nothing more then a moment to breath. To do this we booked a few adventures through Hawaii Adventure Center. Ky and I took off twice on our trip. The first was a sunset cruise and the second was an adventure filled ATV tour. It was a nice chance to hang with my hubby for a few hours and it gave our family some quality time with M. Win Win! ||

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|| Ship Ahead! With the cost of checked luggage and the limited number of hands we have to move all our stuff onto the plane, I decided to ship a few items ahead of us to my parents house. A few weeks before we left, I got on good ol’ Amazon and shipped our beach tent, M’s float-mobile and a travel crib. Best thing I did for us! These heavy items arrived there and were waiting on the doorstep for us. I just wished I had used this same foresight to ship diapers. I tried fitting them into our suitcase and they just took up too much room. So, I ran to the store when we got there only to find that just one brand was available in M’s size. Next time, I’ll be putting together a box from home and shipping these type of items {diapers, M’s snacks, etc} ahead of us. ||

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|| Enjoy! It’s VACATION! I had to tell myself that it was OK to be off our typical schedule. M would survive! And, she did! She actually was more relaxed there then I have ever seen her. She got flexible. Naps were mostly on the go. In the car, in the stroller, etc. and she slept through some crazy noise at night. It worked! And, we got to enjoy ourselves because we didn’t chain ourselves to the house for her schedule. It’s vacation! ||

Now, that song keeps playing through my head….”Back to life, back to reality….”. But, that’s OK. Vacation is vacation and it has to end sometimes. Plus, your own house is somehow such a luxury after you travel. My bed feels like new and I could stand in my shower for hours. So, until next time Hawaii. Alooooooha!

Enjoy! Melissa