Last week we embarked on our family vacation to Aulani, a Disney Resort and Spa, located in Ko Olina, Hawaii. This was only our second time staying on site and this time with both kids. We usually do a family vacation around this time to celebrate the kids birthdays, so this vacation seemed like the perfect spot for all to enjoy; and that we sure did! Here are the Pro’s and Con’s of our Hawaiian Disney family vacation:
The service: From the moment we stepped on site, we were quickly greeted with Lei’s for the adults and little Tahitian necklaces for the kids. We were offered water and escorted right to the front desk for check in. From the smiles to the Aloha’s the service and professional attitude from ALL staff members made us feel extra special. We were allowed to start enjoying all the amenities of the resort, left our bags at the bell desk, and were texted when our room was ready, super convenient.
The Pool: At the time, the hotel was at 98% capacity, which means yes, it was crowded. The resort includes many different pool options. There were water slides, a kid splash zone/water bridge, lazy river, infinity pool, hot tubs, and even an adult’s only pool. Also, was a private resort only access right to the beach lagoon with complimentary chair and umbrellas for you to enjoy. I was also quite happy with the amount of lifeguards on hand, which I think is very important especially among children during water play. The whole family enjoyed the water slides and especially the lazy river.
Kids club: INCLUDED WITH YOUR STAY. Yes, you read that right; there is a Kids club where kids 3-12 can enjoy an array of different activities, all complimentary. While I was excited for our kids to try out Aunty’s Beach house, I was still hesitant to leave them in there with out my supervision. Would they get bored? Would they eat? Would they be nice to them in there? These were just some of my thoughts going through my head while signing them into the center. All I can say is that all of these thoughts and concerns were quickly reassured and calmed from the moment we started the check in process.
Each child is given a green band that acts as its check in ticket/security tracking. Everyone entering the house is required to wash their hands; I loved this, such a good idea to help fight germs. As soon as you walk in, it is quite large, very clean, very tidy, with cast members standing and observing all around. Let’s just say I never had to worry that my kids were unattended. With a 5,200 square foot house, there was a game room, movie room, arts and crafts room, eating room, and a huge outdoor play ground.
I was comforted by the cast member that the kids would be taken care of, would have a blast, and for us adults to go have a date night! I was honestly surprised at how calm she was, reassuring that they would be fine, and not to worry and HAVE FUN! As soon as we walked out of the kids club, my husband and I both looked at each other and were at lost about what to do with out the kids around, lol. Because of this great amenity, we were able to have some adult time, date nights and great reconnecting time. You can even call or go into the kids club anytime to check on the kids and see how they were doing. The kids center is open daily from 9:30 am – 9:00 pm for open play, they can come and go any time as long as they weren’t at max capacity.
Parking: The overnight parking fee is $37 per night. This is outrageous in my opinion. We never left the resort, so our car literally just sat there paying rent for the 3 days we were there. Parking options are non-existent around that area, so we really had no choice but to pay it.
Food Options: While the food itself is good on site, the options in my opinion are limited. I would’ve liked to see a casual dining restaurant that wasn’t pool based, but still quick and easy. I heard from guest that they would walk next door over to the Four Seasons because their prices were substantially lower than Aulani’s.
Characters: This is a Disney Hotel, and they do have scheduled character meetings, but I just wish they had more. My kids would’ve liked to see MORE characters walking around interacting in different type of activities rather than just standing in line to take a picture with them.
Summary: This is definitely one of the best family vacations we’ve ever had, and would recommend it as a a great family vacation spot. It’s a great place for the whole family to come together. There were many grandparents who were vacationing with their kids and grandkids . With the high price tag per night, I would say it’s worth it, with all the amenities for kids and things to do as a family. We didn’t want to leave by the end of our stay and will for sure make it back for at least one more stay during our time in Hawaii!
Where have I been? MOVING!!! It’s taken me longer than expected to get back into the swing of things during this move, but I’m still here! You’d think I’d be used to it since this is my 8th time moving to a new home within 11 years, but it only gets busier! Lol. I’ve been organizing our home/life for the past month, getting my kids settled into their new routines, all while building a thriving business with Rodan and Fields, blogging and researching, collecting content for the blog.
There are so many things to be thankful for; moving to an area where I’m familiar with, reconnecting with old friends, and being near family now. So while I haven’t been active much on the blog, I’m still here, still excited to create new looks and share with you the latest and newest in the Fashion and Beauty world! Stay tuned! And thank you all for your support!
4 years have come and gone, and I love that I got to call SoCal my home for those past 4. But the time has come, like so many other military families; it’s rotation time. It’s hard to leave the place that my family and I have grown over the years, the friends, the family, and the community I came to love. I have the memories, I have the experience, and that I’m so grateful for. Now it’s time to head back, back to the 808.
Now as we settle into our new duty station, the place that we call home, a place where I grew up, where family is, friends and community I know, I’m slowly settling back in, because now, it’ll be a new type of experience with my own kids and that I’m excited for. I’m excited to bring some new content to the blog, with new looks, and new inspirations. While it’s hard to leave a place that you have become accustomed to and settled, I’m fortunate to get to call this backdrop home once again in my life.
This post was sponsored by Tai Pei as part of Influencer Activation for Influence Central and all opinions expressed in my post are my own.
It’s that time again. Moving season. I’m sure a lot of you know the pains and stresses when it comes to moving. There’s a lot of things you don’t anticipate and a lot of things cost money when it comes to moving. With my whole kitchen packed up I wasn’t able to prepare dinners anymore, forcing us to eat out a lot. It’s fun for the first few days, but after a while it gets tiresome and quite frankly expensive. With the help of Tai Pei’s single serve entrée; I was able to bring dinner home that everyone enjoyed!
The all-new Tai Pei single serve line of Asian inspired frozen entrees, are made with real, quality ingredients. There’s none of the bad stuff, just pure and delicious goodness. There are a variety of options that my whole family got to choose their favorite. My kids really liked the Peppered beef entrée, while my husband raved about the flavors and taste of the sweet and sour chicken. I had the Shrimp fried rice, and it was honestly surprisingly tasty.
The packaging is simple, inviting, and easy to prepare. Just pop it in the microwave and voila, your meal is served. No mess, no plates required. There are a wide range of choices to include both entrees and appetizers. These are the perfect go to meals for anyone who’s got a busy schedule and doesn’t want to cook some nights, but is also on a budget. Or if you’re in a moving situation like me, these could be a lifesaver in a chaotic and stressful time.
Included down below is the Tai Pei website where you can read and learn more about their products.
The Tai Pei Asian inspired entrees were a huge lifesaver and a big hit amongst my whole family! If everyone is satisfied, then mom is happy. Try yours out today to find out which becomes your favorite flavor!
So you’ve got that family summer trip planned and are feeling overwhelmed at what to pack, what to bring. I’ve traveled a lot over the years since my babies were born. Now being 5 and 3 years old I’m still learning what works and what doesn’t. Here are a few recommendations to make both mommy and baby happy while traveling.
Kids rolling backpack: I've taken these on a plane, and a road trip. They are a cute way to get your kids excited about traveling and keeps their own belonging seperate from each other. Super cute and durable!
Foldable blanket: These are a lifesaver, and are my kids favorite! This blanket is especiallly helpful on the plane where it can get super cold at times. Fold them tucked away and they double as a pillow!
Mom's bag: I usually go small and compact when I travel especially with kids. I need to have all hands available and like to feel light with out a lot of stuff holding me down. I just pack the essential's leaving me free to enjoy our vacation!
The special treat: Thanks to Influenster, I received their summer breezy VoxBox that included their Sour Punch treat. Traveling can be stressful on both child and mother. My kids rarely get to eat candy like these, so it's a safety net to pack in my carry on and special treat for them for traveling so well!
Have some safe family fun this summer!
* I received some items complimentary thanks to Influenster, Opinions and thoughts are my own
Yesterday marked my 400th barre class at Xtend Barre By the Sea. This gem of a studio has been the place that transformed my body, my stress reliever, my friend, and honestly a second home. It’s the place where I was able to get out of my comfort zone, meet some amazing people in the community and develop long lasting friendships. Now it’s time to say goodbye.
One of the best and worst parts of military life for me is moving. While it was adventurous and exciting in the first few years, you begin to develop roots everywhere you go and in this moment, this move will be the hardest yet for me. I’ve met so many great people, had so many laughs, and sweated along side with my friends, all thanks to this studio. It was our common ground that allowed us to develop relationships beyond just working out.
So now, 2 years later, 400 classes down, I must close this chapter in my book. Thank you for all the plies, planks, and fold overs, encouragement, and laughs, it truly has transformed my body mind and soul. Those of you know, you will always have a special place in my heart. Who knew that the first day I walked into the studio it would be the place that made me feel at home, made me belong, and made me happy. Cheers to the best little studio in town and off to the next great adventure!
It’s that time of year again, a time where we celebrate a special person, on a very special day; mother’s day. When I think back on mother’s day growing up, I remember making my mom home made cards and making her breakfast in bed. Fast forward all these years later, and now I am a mom; a mom to 2 beautiful kids. The homemade cards have started, though the breakfast in bed may have to wait a few more years till they can operate a stove by themselves! Lol.
Mother’s day has so many different meanings to everyone, but to me, on this day, I feel pride, I feel joy, I feel accomplishment, and I feel fulfilled, all because of my kids, who made me a mother and able to celebrate this day. I never thought motherhood would bring me down this path, a path to where I am able to stay home with them and be there for them whenever they need. It’s not what I had envisioned before becoming a mother, but now I can’t see it any other way since becoming a mother, and I’m proud of that.
Whether we are working moms, stay at home moms, part time moms, or single parent moms; I think we can all agree that whatever struggles, joys, tears, or fear we deal with in our daily lives; it’s worth it. Worth it to see our kid’s everyday, to see them smile and to hear those magical words ‘I love you mom’.
Happy Mother’s Day!!
* I received products complimentary thanks to Influenster.
All thoughts and opinions are my own
This Past weekend I was invited to attend the Origins VIP event celebrating the launch of their new Products. The event included exclusive VIP access to a FREE mini-facial, on site tealeaf reader, some yummy refreshments and treats, along with a swag bag and 20% off everything in the store!
Upon entering the store, there was lots of excitement, lots of pampering and lots of chatting. Not only did I get to sample some of my favorite products, but I also got to mingle with fellow bloggers and beauty lovers alike. The store set up is gorgeous, playing off the natural and botanical oils that the brand is known for.
Each category is clearly marked sectioned of by face and body. Some of my favorite products I use from the brand include the active Charcoal Mask, and the drink up intensive overnight mask. I also love the ginger soufflé and body lotion!
This event was lots of fun being pampered, hanging out some friends, and scoring some of my favorite iconic masks! Thanks to @Influenster and @Origins for the exclusive invite. Can’t wait till the next one!
Let face it, sometimes we just can’t make it to they gym, life takes over and our physical fitness can take a back seat. Or we just don’t have access or the ability to go to a gym, which for me is the only way I can be accountable and be motivated to complete my work out. I’ve tried and am trying to do the at home work outs, and while it’s good in the fact that I can do it in my own home, it’s just not the same. I get distracted too much, my kids are constantly interrupting my session, and I just get lazy, I’ll admit it.
So instead of me feeling like I have to complete a full one hour workout everyday, which is just not a realistic schedule to stick to for my lifestyle at the moment, I’ve started finding ways to make what works for me. Here are some of my fitness reps I like to do, working it in to my day.
Planks: I use to hate doing these! It hurt, it was uncomfortable, but there’s a reason for that. It works! This move is a whole body workout that uses your core, builds upper body strength and tests your mind and will power to hold it.
Squats: They start off easy at first, but don’t be fooled. This little move burns baby burns! Lol but oh does it work so well!
Push-ups: I never could do a push up until I started TRX. This whole body workout requires you to resist gravity and use your own body weight against you.
So the next time you find yourself feeling guilty and unhappy that you couldn’t get in a full hour workout, take a step back, find other ways to still be physically active throughout the day and work it in where you can. It’s all about balance right!
“It’s the little things that make life that much sweeter”. That’s the thought behind the brand Protect my Shoes. These are the perfect little shoe stuffers and your shoes best friend! Founder Olivia Hollaus created this concept after personally becoming frustrated with those paper stuffers that wrinkle and shred up soon after your purchase.
These patent pending shoe stuffers are one-size fits all, handmade with 100% cotton fabric, filled with raw organic cotton, and machine-washable. These are the perfect little addition to my shoe collection, keeping my luxury shoe collection looking good at all times. They come in an array of fun prints and colors. They are dainty and elegant, making it the perfect gift for anyone who loves shoes!
Shop now and get 25% off with code: THISLOVELIFE. Offer valid until March 6, 2017.