Make the Most of One Day in Zion National Park: Maximize Your Time With These Tips!

The Southwest has some of the most magnificent National Parks out there. Zion was Utah's first National Park and is often on the top of people's favorite US parks. The massive sandstone cliffs will dwarf you and the narrow slot canyons will draw you in. There is plenty to explore at Zion National Park, but if one day is all you have, you can most definitely get a generous taste of this beautiful park. I'll give you all the best tips so that you can maximize your time at Zion National Park.

zion national park visit one day itinerary


Easy Meal Ideas for College Students or Young Adults Who Don't Have a Meal Plan

You’re heading to college, or maybe you have a child leaving the nest for the first time and are wondering if they’re ready for life outside your humble abode. Being out on your own means more independence and that also means learning to cook for the first time. Dining hall meals won’t last forever, and boxed mac and cheese can only get you so far. If you are a young adult or know someone who could use some easy meal ideas to help them get started on their cooking journey, here are easy meal ideas that are perfect for college students or young adults.

college meal planning ideas


Everything You Need to Know Before You Go to Juneau, Alaska

Juneau, Alaska is a popular port if you are taking a cruise to Alaska, but it's also a great place to plan a stand-alone trip too as well. There are plenty of shore excursions to take so that you can explore this Southeast Alaska gem. This Alaska town, like many others, was born because of gold and after a whole treasure trove was found and a rush occurred, Juneau became the state capital. It's fairly easy to get to. From Seattle, it's only a two-hour flight. So come explore Juneau, Alaska and see what you should plan while you are there!



What to Expect on Your First Visit to Paris

After several canceled trips {thanks COVID}, I wasn't sure if we would ever see Paris. I spent {literally} years planning our trip, not because it's super complicated, but because so much with travel has just been changing and evolving. While travel to Europe used to be very fly by the seat of your pants, it's definitely not like that anymore. Reservations need to be made well in advance for everything from museums to the summit at the Eiffel Tower and a little bit of pre-planning will make your first visit to Paris extremely smooth and successful. Here are a few things I learned on my first visit to Paris!

first trip to paris, know before you go


The Best 5 Day Normandy Road Trip

Most people hear Normandy and think D Day beaches. Heck, even I did before I did my research! But Normandy is a region, not just a beach and it holds some of the most breathtaking scenery in all of France. Normandy is one of the most famous destinations in France and it's just a few hours outside of Paris. It's an easy addition to any trip, and it can be experienced with a road trip. There are miles and miles of rolling countryside and dramatic coastal cliffs and everything in between.  You really aren't going to want to miss it! Here's the ultimate 5 day Normandy road trip.



5 New Ways to Get Over Jet Lag

I didn't start traveling internationally until I was well into my 30's. I remember returning from a trip to Uganda and jet lag hit me hard. I was up before the sun, usually dragging by the afternoon and forced into a nap and then by the evening, I was useless after eight. I knew there had to be a better way to overcome jet lag. On my next international trip, I adapted so much better, I think because I learned a few skills that have helped me overcome jetlag. I'm sharing a few new ways for you to get over jetlag too.

international travel hacks

Family Fun with Teens in Wilsonville, Oregon

A few years ago, I realized I hadn't spent a lot of time exploring the beautiful area that we live in and I set out to change that. The PNW is arguably the most beautiful place to be in the summer with mountains, rivers, trees, and trails. The weather is mild and it's easy to be outside or relax inside. Our family was hosted by ExploreWilsonville recently and we had the best time. Wilsonville is in the heart of it all and only 16 miles south of Portland, making it the perfect home base to explore Oregon. 

wilsonville oregon with teens


The Best Frugal Living Tips for Beginners

Being a beginner at anything kind of sucks. Even something simple like frugal living can be hard and even daunting when you’re just getting started. If you are new to being frugal and are looking for some tips on how to get started, I put together a list of the best frugal tips for beginners to help you out!



Tips for Renting a Car in France

When I started researching things to do in Paris on a recent mother/daughter trip, the list of things we wanted to do extended beyond the city. So I started looking at our transportation options. There are quite a bit of options for public transportation, but in order for you to have the most flexibility in your schedule and to not be at the mercy of a train schedule, renting a car will give you the freedom to get around. You can visit smaller towns and make countryside stops or detours to markets and wineries you might have otherwise passed by. Renting a car in France can create some unforgettable memories and here are some tips to know before you go! 

tips for renting a car in france


The Secret Louvre Entrance That Will Save You Time!

The Louvre is arguably the most famous museum in the world housing priceless works of art like the Mona Lisa. With more than 10 million visitors annually, the Louvre sees a LOT of visitors daily, and with a lot of space inside to spread out {more than 60,000 square meters!} the most popular attractions can feel crowded but you can often find hidden spaces to spread out. However, there are only four entrances that every visitor has to funnel through. Everyone has seen the main pyramid entrance, and if it's your first visit, you may think this is your best {only?} option. But I'm here to share with you the secret Louvre entrance that will save you time and get you to all the best art pieces before the crowds!



Sky Lagoon or Blue Lagoon in Iceland?

When we traveled to Iceland on a 24-hour Icelandair stopover, we knew we couldn't visit without stopping at one of the local geothermal pools. The first one that comes to mind is of course Blue Lagoon. It's the oldest and definitely the most well-known, but after doing some research we found that there was a new kid on the block and it was getting some good reviews. I probably was overthinking our decision, but in case you have to make the same decision and choose a visit to Blue Lagoon or Sky Lagoon, here are the factors we used to decide.



Making the Most of a 24 Hour Stopover in Iceland: Tips for Hiring a Local Guide

When I found out that we could take a trip to Paris and include a stopover in Iceland, I knew I had to book the ticket! Icelandair started doing a stopover for those flying to or from major European countries back in the 60s, but it didn't really start to gain popularity until the 2000s. And heck, even then, I'd say most travelers don't even know this exists! If you book your ticket on Icelandair and select the option for stopover {it's easy to miss, so take caution when you book your tickets!}, you can stay in Iceland anywhere from 24 hours to 7 days for no additional fee. Once I started researching things to do, I realized that 24 hours may not be enough time to see what we wanted to see. At least in the most traditional way. I started to get frustrated, thinking that maybe all we'd get to see was a geothermal lagoon and the airport hotel! But I didn't give up and let me tell you, we saw more of Iceland than most get to see! Want to know how? Keep reading!

icelandair stopover 24 hours what to do


10 National Parks to Visit During Wildflower Season

One of the best parts about America’s national parks is that they have so many unique things to offer anyone who visits. No matter what season, there is something to see or a new park waiting for you to explore. As the ice starts to thaw and the snow finally melts, spring is the perfect time to see wildflowers! Here are 10 national parks to visit during wildflower season.



Cheap Date Ideas for Couples Who Don't Need a Babysitter Anymore!

The moment you’ve been long waiting for as parents have finally arrived. Your kids are old enough that they don’t need a sitter! But after ten or so years of having to work around a babysitter, you might be a little short on ideas for what you should do with your newly found freedom as parents. If you are looking for some fabulous budget-friendly date ideas that you can do when you don’t have to worry about a sitter, here are some of my favorite ideas.

date night ideas for couples who don't need sitter


7 Ways to Find More Time to Read

Reading is not only a great and inexpensive hobby, but it’s also a great way to relax and unwind at the end of a long day. Whether you prefer to dive into mystery, romance, or just reread the classics, it can be hard not to get lost in a good book. However, it can start to feel like there is never enough time to get lost in reading these days when it comes to time. Here are a few ways to help you find more time to read, no matter how busy you are.



Vacation Destination Ideas for Milestone Anniversary Trips

Regardless of the anniversary milestone, and no matter how many years or decades it’s been since you said “I do,” a trip gives you the perfect opportunity to celebrate this important milestone in your relationship as a married couple. A romantic getaway is an ideal opportunity for you to relive your honeymoon 20+ years later or get some much-needed downtime with your spouse for once. It might even be the first trip you take together as a couple since having a family. Here are some of my favorite vacation destinations for milestone anniversaries.

vacation destination anniversary trips


5 Ways to Connect with Your High School Graduate Before They Leave the Nest

Can you believe that your little baby is about to graduate from high school? It might feel like just yesterday you were changing their diapers for the first time, but they’re about to become a full-fledged adult. Before they start college or leave the nest for the first time, you still have a summer to make memories before they go. Here are some great ways to connect with your high school graduate before leaving the nest.

connect high school graduate before leave the nest


5 Reasons I Wouldn't Visit Horseshoe Bend Again

There were a few stops along our Ultimate Southwest Road Trip that I was most excited about, and sunset at Horseshoe Bend was one of them! I started seeing photos of this amazingly beautiful location on Instagram a few years ago and added it to my list if I was ever in the area. We actually planned our trips to include a stop in Page, Arizona with a hike to Horseshoe Bend at the top of my list. After visiting, I was disappointed. Here are 5 reasons why I wouldn't visit Horseshoe Bend again.



Best Place to Watch Sunrise on Grand Canyon's Southern Rim

When you find yourself close to a National Park, you should always take advantage of viewing sunrise and/or sunset. Many of the National Parks we visited on our Ultimate Southwest Road Trip™ are doing their best to work towards the International Dark Sky status. This just means that a park is doing its best to improve the night sky visibility in order to protect and preserve the nighttime environment. Sunrise is a different story! One of my first questions to any and all of the park rangers and volunteers was "where is the best place to watch the sunrise?" I got a lot of different answers and with only one morning sunrise to test it out, I think we found the winner! Read on!

sunrise at grand canyon best place


Visiting Antelope Canyon: Is it Really Worth the Hype?

We recently returned from a trip I'm calling the Ultimate Southwest Road Trip™. We hit parks in Nevada, Utah, and Arizona for a pretty memorable spring break with our teenage son. One of our stops was in Page, Arizona where we spent time visiting Horseshoe Bend, Antelope Canyon, and Lake Powell. I had heard glowing reviews about Antelope Canyon but went back and forth trying to decide if it was worth the expensive tour fee and if it really would live up to the hype. We actually were blown away by our visit and wanted to share the experience so you can make the best plan for your upcoming visit. 



The Best 7 Day Grand Circle Road Trip Itinerary! The Ultimate Southwest Road Trip!

What started as a {potential} college visit to Prescott, Arizona, with a side trip to the Grand Canyon, turned into a road trip through Nevada, Utah, and Arizona making stops at Zion National Park, Bryce National Park, Glen Canyon, and the Grand Canyon {to name a few} in what is often referred to as {a portion of} The Grand Circle. We actually deemed it "The Ultimate Southwest Road Trip" and it will forever be known as that from here on out. {We never made it to visit the college.} 

It's easy to look at a map and see how close some of the most spectacular parts of the southwest are to one another and get carried away planning a road trip. We planned the Ultimate Southwest Road Trip­­™ and think that this was the best way to spend seven days around some of the United State's most beautiful vistas. We fit a lot in, allowing for some downtime, and felt like we saw all the things {and a few things you could skip}. Read on for tips on how you can plan your own Ultimate Southwest Road Trip.



Save Money on Groceries with These Money-Saving Tips

Are you looking for one of the best places to start when it comes to buying at a discount? One of my best money-saving tips is to shop at Grocery Outlet first! They have so many great deals and resell items at their rock bottom prices. You can find name brands and seasonal items at unbeatable prices and expensive organic and natural food for a fraction of the cost! If you’re looking for some tips to help get the best bang for your buck, here are my top tips for shopping at grocery outlets.

save money on groceries with these money saving tips


How to Make Bohemian Decor Earthy and Modern

You don’t have to be born before the 80’s to be a hippy girl at heart. When it comes to home decor, I love the earthy bohemian look however, my husband prefers a more modern look. As this is our home, I immediately found myself on the hunt for fun ways to combine both our styles under one roof. If you are looking to have a bohemian look while still keeping those modern home decor pieces that your husband insists on, here is how to make bohemian decor earthy and modern.

boho earthy and modern


10 Habits of Lazy Women Who Always Have Clean Homes

We all have that one friend in our lives. They make cleaning their home look so attainable yet they are so lazy! It might feel like these women never leave the couch from their Netflix show, yet their homes are spotless! You don’t have to be a professional cleaner to have a clean home, in fact, here are habits of lazy women who always have clean homes that you can do yourself! 



The Complete Guide to Visiting Dollywood

Dollywood is famous for having more stages and live entertainment than any other theme park in the United States. As you might expect from a park-themed after the country music icon, Dolly Parton, this park has a big personality just like its namesake. With plenty of live music, lavish stage shows, and epic coasters the park highlights the beauty of the Smoky Mountains. This guide to Dollywood will help you to make the most of your time at this charming Tennessee theme park.



Introducing the Cricut EasyPress 3 and the Cricut Hat Press: An Honest Review

Are you ready to take your crafting and creating to the next level? Cricut has done it again with two new user-friendly products I want to introduce to you today. I had the opportunity to get both the Cricut Hat Press and the Cricut EasyPress 3 before the launch so that I could give them a try with the new Cricut Heat App and let you know what I thought. Know what I thought? It was amazing.

Seriously. I'm not going to lie, I was slow to join cult Cricut. I was team Silhouette all the way. Back in the day, Cricut just wasn't keeping up with the technology {cutting cartridges anyone?}, and Silhouette had the far superior product. Every time I sat down with my Silhouette to do something it was a process. If you've been around long enough you'll remember these very basic birthday invitations from 2012 that took me a whole week to make! I've spent hours designing and printing and cutting, throwing away expensive materials and hours of my time. That is until I had the opportunity to try Cricut back in 2019 and I've been singing a different song ever since.

Know the short answer of what I say when people ask me what I think of Cricut? I say I think they are the most user-friendly product that will allow you to craft and create just about anything you could imagine. And you know what, these new Cricut products are just adding to the family of user-friendly products that will help you take your crafting to the next level. I know you are going to want to see what's possible so read on!

cricut hat press and cricut easypress 3 do you really need one


Top 10 Reasons to Rent Clothing

My sisters were much older than I was, so imagine the fun I had in college when I joined a sorority and had access to all of my "sisters" clothing. One of our favorite clothing items we all seemed to share were these black flared pants we called our party pants. Those pants got worn by someone anytime we were going out! Several years ago, I traveled with one of the world's largest NGO's World Vision to Bangladesh where I got a glimpse into sweatshops and child labor. While I've always been into sustainable fashion {buying second-hand clothing has always been my favorite way to shop!}, I recently was introduced to clothing rental. We all know about Rent the Runway, but maybe you haven't heard about the clothing rental membership service Armoire that's minority woman-owned in Seattle and fits your everyday needs and style. I've got a few reasons why renting clothing and joining a personalized clothing rental service makes sense. Check it out!



Guide To Great Smoky Mountains National Park

The Great Smoky Mountains are one of the most visited and beloved National Parks in the United States. Jagged mountain peaks and lush forests give way to tumbling waterfalls in this park that is brimming with adventure with plenty to explore. The park is spread across Tennessee and North Carolina and encompasses over 500,000 protected acres. This guide to Great Smoky Mountains National Park will help you to plan your perfect mountain adventure!

great smoky mountains national park


Making Mealtime Easy for a Family in a Vacation Rental

When you’re vacationing, it can sometimes feel like you are just trading one kitchen for another and still have to eat. If you are traveling for spring break or just vacationing to a rental home with your family this year, there are so many different ways you can make cooking there a stress-free experience. You already know that not eating every meal out can save you money, but these tips will make eating in your vacation home just as easy.



Cooking at Home During a Kitchen Remodel

Renovating or remodeling can be stressful, and living in a construction zone can add another layer of stress to your life. Trying to figure out how to feed your family during a kitchen remodel can be, shall we say, interesting. Thinking ahead and setting up a temporary kitchen will help ease some of that burden because no one wants to eat out every night. Here are some tips for cooking at home during a kitchen remodel.

cooking at home during kitchen remodel


Top Tips for Setting Up a Temporary Kitchen During a Home Remodel

"You're moving out right?" That's the question we got more than once when we talked about the scope of our home remodel. We are several weeks into a full kitchen remodel and not only are we still living in our home, but I'm also working at home in an active construction zone. In addition to a full kitchen remodel we are replacing all of the floors in our whole house as well as remodeling a half bath. Before the contractor even stepped foot in the door, we planned out how we were going to make a temporary kitchen work in our home for our family. We don't eat out a lot, and so far, we have yet to grab take-out, so I'd say these tips for setting up a temporary kitchen during a home remodel are working for us, and I think they'd work for you too!



Visiting Camano and Whidbey Island Washington in the Spring

The past few years have forced some of us to stay a little closer to home than we normally would. Mild weather and close proximity to the greater Seattle area make exploring Camano and Whidbey Island a great place to visit year-round, but I especially love it in the spring. A short drive from the city can make you feel worlds away from it all. You don't need a lot of time to explore this area, but your heart will keep pulling to return again and again. Here are some reasons why you should visit Camano and Whidbey Island in the spring.



You Can Sell Your Used Kitchen Cabinets and Granite: Everything You Need to Know!

In late 2010, we purchased a new home. It was a custom home that was just a few years old. Here's the thing. I never really liked the kitchen. It's just not really my style and it was dark and Seattle is dark enough for nine months out of the year, that I dreamed of something lighter and brighter. The real dilemma for me was that we had a really nice kitchen. Top-of-the-line materials were used and I have always been of the mindset that you use what you have. Plus, I didn't want to see perfectly good materials ending up in a landfill. I'm not sure when the bug was put in my ear that I could sell our used kitchen, but I have sold just about everything else so why couldn't I sell our kitchen? I'm sharing all my tips and tricks so you can sell your old cabinets and granite, put a little money back in your pocket for your upcoming remodel, AND keep perfectly good materials out of the landfill! It's a real win all around!



Is Removable Wallpaper Really Removable?

I am no stranger to wallpaper. Some of my earliest DIY memories were of hours spent scraping off layers of wallpaper from the walls in our historic home before I had to use two hands to count my age. It was tedious work. Small chunks of paper would come off and it was the slowest process. If you were lucky, you'd have that one huge strip you'd have to stand back to pull and there would be triumphant cheering. That was the exception, not the rule. So many people my age have similar horror stories where we all promised ourselves "never again". So when wallpaper started making a comeback all of the OG DIY'ers did a collective groan. I heard you. And I did the same. Looking back at the blog post I wrote back in 2019 when I shared this post "Is Removable Shiplap Wallpaper the Right DIY Project For My Home?" by the end, you can sense my hesitation to jump on the wallpaper bandwagon. I think my final recommendation was "eh". 

Just last week, as we prepared for a remodel project, I took down the removable wallpaper from our downstairs half bath. I was bracing for the worst and hoping for the best. I'm going to do my best to answer one of the BIGGEST questions I get from this post and I'm going to share the answer to, is removable wallpaper really removable. Brace yourself. You aren't going to believe the answer!



How to Decide Where to Go on Your Next Family Vacation

Family travel is super important to our family. In the middle of child-rearing, we realized the years were going by very quickly and our time was limited as a family of five, so we created a family travel bucket list and crossed all the locations off just as our oldest son graduated from high school. That was five years ago, and we've since added more locations to our family travel bucket list and have had fun crossing new places off the list. I've never regretted a single trip we've taken, and only wish we had traveled more! Making the time to travel with teens and young adults can be hard, so take advantage of the time you have when you have it! I think the hardest part sometimes is trying to decide where to travel next on your family vacation. Here are some things to take into consideration before you start planning.

family travel planning


Is a Meal Subscription Service Budget-Friendly?

I've always been pretty budget-conscious, especially when it comes to one of our family's largest expenses: food. Food costs have gone up since the late 90's when we first got married and I started paying attention to a grocery budget, and our life has changed a lot in the past two decades since we've established our family. If you are like me, you get ads and coupons and bloggers/influencers telling you all about meal subscription services. I often entertain the idea when I get those coupons for $100 off! or 17 free meals, could you be getting a break on your food budget by using them?  I'm breaking it down for you and helping you decide if a meal subscription service is worth it for your budget-conscious family.

meal subscription service budget friendly


How to Find a Hobby as an Adult

The past few years have been weird for me. I have always had my kids at home to fill my time, and with them needing me less {or at all!}, I have found myself with more free time than I ever remember. I have always thought it was important to be intentional with my time, so I have set out to learn a few new skills, some people like to call them hobbies. Whatever. I've actually heard from a few people in a similar life stage as me and they are noticing the void too. So I'm sharing where you can find a hobby as an adult. Read on!


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