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Our Trip to Paris & London

visiting-the-eiffel-tower

We just got back from London not too long ago. We actually flew into Paris for a few days then took the train to London for the next few days to adventure, and of course, watch Mike’s game, which is why we were there in the first place! I had an amazing time with my family and so glad I got to experience an overseas trip with them!

First Stop… Paris!

paris-france-eiffel-tower

The flight from Texas to Paris was about 8 and a half hours and it honestly wasn’t too bad. I have a post up already all about the travel and how I did it pregnant + with a toddler which you can read, here.

We stayed in Paris for about three days at the Castille Paris which I loved! The hotel was fantastic, but personally I enjoyed it even more so because we were right next door to Chanel and lots of the other shopping!

Of course, I had a look around at all the stores but truly didn’t find anything I “had to have“. Surprise surprise, I know!! Just going in and looking around at how big and beautiful the actual stores are—and the specific pieces they carry—was pretty cool to see!!

I will admit I’m not huge on venturing out of my comfort zone when it comes to food—especially when pregnant. I like what I like and it’s hard for me to try new things, especially in a different country. So if I’m being honest, I don’t have any specific places I recommend this time around but I did go back to a couple of the places I reviewed before in my last Paris travel diary.

The first place we went to was the Eiffel Tower! No matter how many times you see it, it is truly breathtaking and so unbelievable to see in person.

macaroons-eiffel-tower
eiffel-tower-in-paris

I feel so blessed to have been able to take our daughter there at such a young age and I can’t wait to share these photos and memories with her in the future. She loved it there and told everyone she saw “THE Eiffel Tower.”

visiting-the-eiffel-tower

She also loved saying “Bonjour” and “Merci” the whole trip! So cute!!

view-from-the-top-of-eiffel-tower

She actually woke up the other morning and was looking out of the window and said, “I miss Paris“—which I thought was the cutest thing!!

While in Paris we also visited the Palace of Versailles which is, again, amazing to see in person.

Just the detail of the architecture and the history behind it all was a beautiful experience.

palace-of-versailles

Then we visited the Basilique Du Sacre Coeur De Montmartre which is a beautiful, famous church. There are stunning paintings and architecture inside and right outside, they have a market with plenty to walk around, see and enjoy: chocolate, sandwiches, tea, caricature drawings and more.

Plus it was on top of a huge hill that overlooked almost the whole city of Paris!! Stunning.

We ended one of our evenings with a beautiful river cruise that took us past the sparkling Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame, and some other great historical monuments!

eiffel-tower-at-night

We used Chabé Limousines for our transportation the whole time we were in Paris. They were really helpful and got us everywhere safely and efficiently… plus it was super helpful because I didn’t have to travel with a car seat for this trip since they provided one the whole time. That in itself made getting around with a toddler super convenient

Next Stop… London!

tower-bridge-london

We rode the train to London which was a cool experience—for everyone! Believe it or not, it was the first time we’d ever been on a train. Ariah loved it and I was surprised by how quickly we got from Paris to London. I highly suggest it to anyone who’s looking to do the same.

We got to London and stayed at the St. James Hotel & Club. Similar to where we stayed in Paris, this hotel was fairly close to everything—like walking distance to Buckingham Palace, a must-see in London—and we very much enjoyed staying there!

At Buckingham Palace, we saw the Changing of the Guards, which is a huge ceremony every day at 11 AM (10 AM on Sundays), when a new set of the Queen’s soldiers switch out shifts. It’s a VERY a big deal to see so it was exciting to see with my whole family… even my brother!

The Queen was not there at the time we visited but a couple of days after we left we heard she was in her carriage for a parade in London! We so wish we could have seen that!

Thankfully, Ariah got to see all the carriages over the centuries/decades at the palace which was her favorite part because, of course, she’s obsessed with anything to do with queens and princesses right now!!

We also visited the British Museum, another must-see on our list!!

Finally, we got to watch the Bucs play the Carolina Panthers which did not end up great for our team but was definitely a fun experience. I’m glad we got to go and enjoy the game as a family in a new way!!

If we had more time in London I would have loved to have:

  • Had tea at the RITZ
  • Visited the London Eye
  • Seen Platform 9 3/4 at King’s Cross
  • And, ride a double-decker bus

You can bet these are all on my bucket list to experience next time in London.

Overall, we had the best time. I’m so happy I got to take my baby girl on her first overseas trip, plus I’ll always remember being pregnant with our baby boy during this time.

Once again, another unforgettable adventure!!

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Fly Like a Pro While Pregnant + Airport Tips For Flying With Kids

Happy Wednesday once again everyone!

As you all know, we recently flew to London for a game. Flying these days—pregnant and with a toddler—is all about being practical. But of course it doesn’t hurt to throw in a little style + comfort.

Today I’m sharing my go-to look for traveling on long flights (or any flight to be honest!) The goal is simple: be as comfortable as possible when flying, especially while pregnant and traveling with a little one!

I’ve rounded up my favorite picks for loungewear and ALSO my go-to flying tips so your next trip to the airport can be comfortable, effortless, and maybe even a little fun—especially with kids!

The set I love the most is a maternity set from ASOS. It’s perfect for travel, to wear around the house or during school drop off—and I’m thinking it would be perfect for my postpartum time, as well!

Plus it’s all black… and that’s my go-to always because you can never go wrong in black! I also have this in mauve, which I actually wore flying back from London.

You can check out the maternity OR the regular set here:

Regular or Maternity

Shop More of This Style Here:

And now my tips for flying pregnant and/ or with kids…

Tips For Flying While Pregnant

  1. ALWAYS Consult With Your Doctor First (And Bring All Medical Forms Necessary)
    I believe you’re supposed to stop flying around 34-36 weeks pregnant, so this will basically be one of my last trips before having baby #2. To make sure I was doing everything the safest way possible, I got the green light to fly before leaving but since it was such a long flight—and I was going out of the country—they did recommend bringing a doctor’s note and all medical forms in my carry on bag to have handy just in case.
  2. Pack Compression Socks
    My doctor also recommended I wear compression socks the whole duration of the flight and take baby aspirin for precautionary reasons. Are they the hottest trend right now? NOPE. But they can absolutely help to keep circulation flowing and reduce blood clots, so I’ll take that over looking cute any day. For the baby aspirin, talk with your doctor for optimal dosages for your situation.
  3. Pack Lots of Snacks and Water
    Of course being pregnant you need to stay hydrated at all times but I always find that on airplanes you need to even more so! Keeps plenty of water handy or bring a water bottle to fill up after security. Don’t forget to have lots of snacks in case you get hungry on your flights or begin to feel nauseous. I keep little snacks to nibble on in my bag at all times. And hey, you may not always like what they have on flight, so why chance it?
  4. Bring Any Necessary Medication
    Like I said, my doctor recommended baby aspirin but I also made sure to bring my heartburn and nausea meds, as well. If you’re on prescription medicines, DO NOT FORGET THESE! They will be a lot harder to get at your destination than Tylenol or generic over-the-counter meds.
  5. Aim For an Aisle Seat and Don’t Be Embarrassed to Get Up to Walk
    HELLO! I know I’m not the only pregnant woman that has to pee all.the.time—and I have no plans on getting stuck by the window when I have to get up every two seconds (especially with the baby bump!)

    If you feel like you need to move around a bit, there’s nothing wrong with getting up to walk around. In fact, my doctor recommended I try to walk the aisle every hour if possible.

    (BONUS TIP: If you sit in the aisle, you can get to know the flight attendants better in case you need them at any point!)
  6. Learn More About TSA Scanners
    Do your research, talk to your doctor (are you seeing a pattern here?) and ask questions at TSA. From everything I’ve been told, it’s safe to go through all TSA scanners and metal detectors but obviously always ask when concerned.
  7. Listen to Your Body!
    At the end of the day, it always comes down to listening to your intuition. I always listen to my body and if I feel like something is a bad idea or I shouldn’t be doing it, I simply just won’t. First baby… or fifth… you’ll always have that “mother’s intuition” deep inside. Need to get up to use the bathroom? Go! Feel something’s wrong? Call your doctor. Need to take a rest? DO IT!

Tips For Flying With Children

  1. Always Get There With Enough Time to Not Rush
    I really don’t like rushing around with the stroller, through security and gate to gate. I’m a big believer that if we feel stress, then OUR KIDS feel stress and that’s no way to start a flight. So get there ahead of time so it’s smooth sailing from start to finish.
  2. Get Your Kids Excited
    Especially for younger kids, it helps to get them pumped up for your adventures by letting them know what you’re about to do together—and what you have planned for them during the flight or after.

    I love to talk Ariah up about how we’re getting on the airplane, where we’re going and who we’re going to see. We also talk about how she can be a good girl for mommy and on the plane and this usually gets her pretty ready for the plane ride.
  3. Check As Many Bags As Possible
    Trust me, you’ll want to be hands-free as much as possible when chasing kids around the airport!

    I usually only need one backpack or big tote with me after checking my bags and that helps when I’m already pushing the stroller around.
  4. Always Do a Pre-Flight Bathroom Stop
    Make time to hit the restroom so your child can go and/ or has a clean pull up/diaper before boarding the flight. Hopefully this can prevent having to take them on a sometimes nasty airplane bathroom.
  5. Don’t Try to Bring Drinks Through Security
    You already know this. You can’t take liquids through security BUT you can bring an empty water bottle with you to fill once you’re through. I usually just recommend buying drinks after going through security and always having that water bottle (or a spill-proof cup) on hand to fill.
  6. Again—Stock Up On Snacks!
    Ariah eats snacks throughout almost the entire flight until she (sometimes) falls asleep, so I bring lots from home to have on hand and buy more if needed.
  7. Bring Entertainment
    This one is major! It’s hard enough for me to sit still on the plane, so I can’t imagine how hard it is for a toddler. I always have the iPad fully charged with movies already downloaded and ready to go… but dont forget their headphones (especially because the plane ones typically don’t fit their little ears!!) I also bring a little coloring book or a small grab and go activity for her to do if it’s a long flight. Bottom line: Just be prepared to entertain them!
  8. Have a Change of Clothes
    From bathroom accidents to spills, you never know when you’ll need clothes when traveling. So while you pack everything else in your checked bags, keep one full outfit, a clean pair of underwear and extra diapers/ pull-ups in your carry-on bag.
  9. Check Your Stroller at the Gate
    It’s so much easier to push them through the airport than trying to chase them or force them to stay with you on the way to your gate. Plus you get to store your bags in or on the stroller when necessary. Every airline will let you check it right there at the gate and then you can pick it up there when you deplane. SUCH a lifesaver!
  10. Pack Strategically
    Like I said before, being super prepared is the key to success. Have everything you’ll need handy and accessible such as your phone, ID, passports, snacks, wallet, etc. Try not to be the crazy person scrambling through their bags in a pinch.
  11. Stay Calm, Breathe, and Give Yourself Some Credit
    I used to get very nervous and stressed out when flying with Ariah but what I’ve learned is that it’s best to just stay calm and go with the flow. By planning ahead and giving yourself time without rushing around, you’ll feel so much better before your next flight.

    I alway empathize with anyone flying with kids but guess what?! It will probably go A LOT smoother than you expect. You’ve got this!

Want even more traveling tips?

Don’t miss this past post!

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How I Plan Our Vacations

Romantic beach getaways are one of the best vacations for couples.

Traveling is something I do very often. Those closest to me would even say I “live out of a suitcase most of the time.”

I get a lot of questions but mostly it’s “how do you do it?”

The short answer: strategic planning.

Beautiful blue skies and seas are always a blessing on vacation.

I love traveling for the new experiences it offers. We get to see other parts of the country… and sometimes the world. Our vacations give us a new appreciation each time we visit somewhere different. It’s truly a blessing to be able to visit and witness such beautiful places.

I am the one planning our family vacations: the things we do, where we’ll eat and where to stay.

Vacations are the perfect time to expand your horizons and learn.

Over the years, I’ve gone through lots of trial and error when it comes to vacation planning. Not so great for us… but now I think I’m at the point where I can give you some insight from our lessons learned.

Here are my top tips for planning your next great vacation:

  1. Time of Year: We like to consider the season we’re planning our vacations in and what kind of weather we want to travel in to… or AWAY FROM!
  2. Do Your Homework: Once you decide where your dream destination is, it’s time to hop on Google, travel blogs, YouTube, etc. to research your ass off. Follow hashtags, like #ParisFrance, to see where to best areas are to stay and what there is to do in that area. Then start thinking of some dates that will work for you and your party so you can begin looking up flights right away. Typically, the earlier you book, the more reasonable the flights will be financially.
  3. Find Your Accommodations: Next, you’ll want to determine if the town or city you chose is more of a hotel or Airbnb type of place. Both offer incredible perks but you should take into consideration: the group you’re traveling with, distance to things you want to do and amenities you think you’ll need.
  4. Plan Your Fun: Don’t wait until you’re already there to book activities and excursions. So many times they are reserved in advance and showing up the day of to do it without a reservation will likely have you leaving in disappointment. Instead, book all of your fun ahead of time… and save a little wiggle room for downtime, too. Just remember to double check their reviews because you don’t want to book with a company that can’t deliver on the fun.
  5. Consider Transportation: Take into consideration if you’ll need to find full-time transportation, like renting a car, or if Uber or walking will work. Remember, where you choose to go has a lot to do with this part of the trip, too.
  6. Keep It Organized: To help keep everyone on the same page and eliminate the constant back and forth questions, I like to make an itinerary for the day by day events. Of course, everything must be scheduled and confirmed to do this—hotel, flights, activities, etc.—but it makes it such a stress-free experience in the end.
  7. PACK IT UP: Finally, it’s time to pack. With everything planned, this is the last thing you have to do before enjoying whatever vacation awaits. Making a checklist always helps me. You can read some of my other travel tips from the time we went to Paris for our 2-year anniversary. Or, you can read all about my girls trip to Turks and Caicos last year that was SO AMAZING that I knew I had to take Mike back to show him how beautiful it was for himself!

Relaxing poolside on vacation is my idea of fun.

Of course, it’s fun every now and then to wing your vacations and just adventure… but especially with young kids, that’s not always possible. Make sure you dot your I’s and cross your T’s if you want to have vacations that end with nothing but incredible, life-long memories for everyone.

Vacations with my husband Mike Evans never get old.

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My Travel Diary: Turks and Caicos

OK… so about that trip to Turks and Caicos for our annual girl’s trip…

O.M.G!!! It was the best place we’ve been to… YET!

It was a very last minute trip that the girls and I planned literally within a month! We knew we needed a getaway —> so, we made it happen!

Since we didn’t have a whole lot of time to wait… with the last minute planning and all… we were so ecstatic the whole time to just get there already!

And when we did?? YEP, it was an unreal experience- so beautiful it seemed straight out of a movie!

So here’s how our trip went down…

THE VILLA:

I knew an Airbnb would be nice for all of us so that we could all stay together in one place and get to do whatever we wanted to do freely without worrying about being around a bunch of other people (like in a hotel).

I found a villa for the exact days we wanted to go so we immediately booked it and started planning on our trip from there. We stayed on Grace Bay Beach– a super popular tourist area- and we were never more than 15 minutes away from anything!

THE FOOD:

Our first meal there wasn’t all that great but it was highly recommend by people on the island and it was only walking distance away… so we went.

INSIDE TIP: We found out that first night that they charged for refills and so it’s best to just drink bottled water (and a cocktail, of course if you wanted).

The next couple of nights we actually found some other really great spots where we loved the food! Locals recommended these places… so of course, they were great… and I highly recommend them as well!

At Crackpot Kitchen, I tried the jerk chicken and it was AMAZING. Everyone loved the food there, too. Mango Reef… where we found a lot more Americanized food… was a big hit too! I had the shrimp pasta which didn’t disappoint. We also had lunch at another popular spot called Bugaloos, which someone recommended basically every day we were there, so we had to give it a try, right? It was near one of our activities so it just made sense to have our last meal there while out adventuring. I kept it simple with chicken tenders and their signature sauce… plus a strawberry and pina colada smoothie- so delicious!

Definitely check out those three places!

THE BEACH:

You should have heard all of the “ooo’s” and “ahhh’s” from everyone taking pics as we were landing in Turks and Caicos. Looking down at the island and the beautiful water from our plane windows was unreal… like I said, it seemed like something out of a movie!

The water was so blue it didn’t even seem real and every time we were out, it’s like you couldn’t help but to comment on how beautiful the water was. Not to mention, I didn’t want to get out of it all day long! Out of all the places I’ve been and all the beaches I’ve seen this was hands down…by far… the most beautiful beach EVER!

THE ACTIVITIES:

We did so many fun excursions while we were there to make the most of the time we had. One day, we did a two-hour jet ski tour to Pirates Cove. It was a really fun experience to do together, so I’m so glad that we did. I’ll admit the water was pretty choppy and it was a really far ride out there but seeing the gorgeous houses and villas along the way was pretty cool and so was climbing to the top of the cove to see everything below. Seeing how beautiful the water and the islands were made it all worth it!

The next day we did a morning boat ride with a company called Panoply. We cruised along to different islands, where we stopped at Iguana Island to walk around. The iguanas were all really friendly and don’t bother you at all.

Of course we stopped for some pics!

We also stopped by Prince’s House to take a photo by his purple driveway before and snorkeling for a bit to see some beautiful fish and coral! loved taking the tour through Panoply. They provided lunch, snacks, and plenty of drinks <<—- Basically everything we needed for a great day!

Finally, we went horseback riding on the beach to end our trip… and it was perfect!

TRANSPORTATION:

Before our trip, our host provided transportation for us with a taxi company that seemed to be trying to get one over on us. They were trying to charge us anywhere from $10-$15 per person… per each place we went! So if we tried to go to three places in a night they charged to go to every single place per person <— Which is clearly ridiculous.

After asking around to see if that was normal- it wasn’t- we searched for another taxi company. We found another company and the guy we found was just the sweetest ever! He charged us for a round trip that was like half the price of what we would have been paying with the other company, so we stuck with him the rest of the trip and that worked out great! Moral of the story: DON’T let someone scam you!

THE PEOPLE/ ATMOSPHERE:

I didn’t know what to except from the locals or really what to expect at all about Turks and Caicos, so I just went open-minded and excited!

And you know what?

The people there really made the trip even better!Everyone was so kind and chill! They truly wanted you to feel the same way while staying there.

It’s nothing like being in America where everyone has their phones out taking pictures and caring about social media all day, every day. It’s nothing like that there! There’s just so much more to life– and I can definitely see why so many celebrities go out there simply for that reason! They know they aren’t going to get hassled by anyone and can just relax.

They say everyone’s on “island time” <<— And they aren’t wrong! 

MY TOTAL EXPERIENCE:

Overall, it was a great trip and I’m already thinking about going back next time with Mike because I know how much he would love it there. From the food (when you trust the locals to give you a heads up) to the crystal clear/ blue waters and the laid back vibes, everything about our trip to Turks and Caicos was absolutely magical!

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Summertime Swimwear

Happy Friday Everyone!

As some of you may know (if you’re following me on Instagram) I just returned from the best girls trip yet!

We went to Turks and Caicos and let me just say it was so amazing and literally the most beautiful beach I’ve ever traveled to <<— but I’m saving that for my next post!

Today is all about my favorite one-piece swimwear!

I’m really loving one pieces right now and feel like they’re doing more for my body than a two piece.

Plus, they just seem way cuter than bikinis this season anyway!

So today I rounded up a whole bunch of my favorite one-piece swimsuits under $100 (And, yes, some of these I definitely wore on vacation last week!)

Ready to find super cute… and sometimes sexyone-pieces that will help you rock the summertime vibes? Shop my style below 👇🏽

One-Pieces That WOW!

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Q + A… What You All Wanted to Know!

Hey everyone! I’ve been getting lots of great questions from you- and I’m so happy you want to know more! Today, I’m answering some of the most frequently asked questions below- but if you have others, drop them in the comments and I’ll be sure to answer!

Let’s get started…

HOW DID MIKE AND I MEET?

Mike and I met back in 2013 while we were both going to school in College Station, Texas. We met through our roommates who knew each other and soon introduced us… and we hit it off right away! You can read more about our love story —> HERE!


HOW WAS IT MOVING FROM TEXAS TO FLORIDA? DO YOU EVER MISS TX? WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE PART ABOUT FL?

Moving from Texas to Florida has been quite an adventure, that’s for sure.

After Mike got drafted, our initial move to Tampa was quick and we didn’t really have time to look around for a place to live. I basically found the closest, most decent apartment I could find near the facility and shortly after we moved in.

I brought everything I could from my college apartment to help us get started and since then (in 2014) we have lived in three different places. And who knows, we may eventually buy a home there since we will be continuing our time in Tampa- which I’m so proud of my husband for! For those of you that don’t know, Mike has recently agreed to an extended 5-year contract, so we are very excited to be staying in Tampa!

It’s easy to love Florida! It’s so beautiful and you can go to the beach or be outside in the sun pretty much year round-and especially with kids, I love that. I also love the friends that we have made there and all the experiences we’ve had so far.

Florida will always have a place in our hearts… BUT TEXAS IS HOME.

We love Texas and try to shoot home whenever we get the chance. We live in Texas the entire off-season in our first home we recently purchased, so no matter where we play, we will always end up back here… and this will always be our home.


ANY GOOD SKINCARE TIPS?

I will say that I’ve been learning so much about skincare lately and have had fun trying different products and techniques. But, one of my best tips is to make sure you’re definitely drinking lots of water and watching what you’re putting into your body as far as your diet. It’s a bigger deal than most people think it is- plus, it helps to keep your stress levels down!

Another tip is to make sure you’re taking off your makeup before going to bed and exfoliating at least two times a week for fresh, glowing skin!

PS: I did give more of my favorite tips + tricks that you can read —> HERE!


TELL US ABOUT YOUR COLLEGE EXPERIENCE AND WHAT YOU MAJORED IN?

I went to Blinn Junior College for almost two years. It was the best two years of my life and I met some amazing people that are still lifelong friends to this day.

I initially majored in psychology and wanted to be a counselor because I love giving advice and helping others!

Eventually, I decided to take a break to really figure out what it is that I wanted to do and with all the transitions going on in my life- from being a wife and now a mom (and constantly being in between states)- I’m still trying to figure it all out.

I have many interests though, such as: real estate, interior design, fashion design, etc.- so we’ll have to see where that all takes me!

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE THING ABOUT BEING A MOM? HOW DO YOU BALANCE FAMILY LIFE AND NFL LIFE?

My favorite thing about being a mom is having a bundle of joy that makes me so excited to get up every day… even if it is super early and I need all the coffee I can get to function!

I love teaching her new things + watching her explore the world as she grows up right before our eyes! It’s literally the best feeling in the world!

Luckily, in the NFL we get an off-season where we get all the free time we want for a few months to spend our time with family. Mike gets to be home and enjoy that with us, which is great because during training camp and football season it gets a little harder to get that time together.

I do most things on my own on a daily basis, like chasing around a toddler all day and getting done the many things on our to-do list. When Mike comes home, he’s clearly tired after a long day, so I have to be that supportive mom and wife throughout that time! It’s all a balancing act, but I love it and wouldn’t trade it for the world!

WHAT IS IT LIKE TO BE A WIFE TO AN NFL PLAYER?

So this was the number one question I received from you guys when I asked for your questions! I would really love to do a whole separate post on what it’s like to be married to a professional athlete… and all the different things that go on that no one sees.

It’s more than just football games, cool events, big houses, and fancy cars…trust me!

I won’t lie… it definitely takes a strong-minded woman to be married to someone who puts their life on the line for our entertainment or to someone who people call “famous” all the time… it’s still a crazy thing for me!

Of course, his job and our life is a blessing, but what you see on WAGS is so far from Mike & I’s lifestyle that we’re ALWAYS laughing when we watch those shows!  Seriously, it’s such a joke… but totally not hating on anyone, that’s on them!

Anyway, I would love to save this for a more in-depth post later, so stay tuned for that!

WHAT MADE YOU WANT TO START YOUR OWN BLOG?

I started my blog in hopes to get my voice across and talk about things that I love… like this outfit above!!  It’s a great way to document the cool things that happen in my life, plus it’s a place to watch myself grow as a wife, mama, and woman in general!

I have wanted to start one for over a year and finally decided, why not? JUST DO IT!

That was the hardest part.. getting started and putting myself out there for the world to see… because believe it or not, I AM SUCH AN INTROVERT.

BUT, now that I have… I love it and I hope it will grow into something you guys love to read as much as I love making the content for you all!

So, with that said, always leave me comments and let me know what you would love to see as well! Always ask questions… I promise I will answer 🙂

WHAT IS YOUR ETHNICITY?

I am bi-racial… my Mom is white and my Dad is black.

Crazy enough, Mike and I are actually the same ethnicities and both of our moms are white and dads are black, so of course, that was something we immediately found interesting about each other, as well!

Did I answer your Q’s? I hope so! If not, like I said earlier, please always feel free to drop a comment or question below… I’d love to hear from you! 

 

PS: Shop my black, off-the-shoulder top and skirt here:

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Our 2-Year Anniversary Trip to Paris

So if you’ve been keeping up with me, then you know we recently just went to Paris for our two year anniversary and I will say that it was absolutely the best trip I’ve ever been on in my life!

I have been so excited for this trip that I even had fun packing for it- I just couldn’t wait to get there! We left on Thursday, February 8th from Houston… but not without a minor hiccup or two. We were supposed to be on a 4 PM flight but (little did we know) the flight was actually canceled a day earlier- and we didn’t find out until we were pulling up at the airport! Thank goodness, my mom happened to be looking up the flight to try and track us!

I was DEVASTATED! I was certain that it wasn’t meant to be and, of course, this would be our luck!

Mike went to go check it out and (thankfully) it turned out they put us on a later flight that night at 10 PM and we were finally off!

We flew British Airways and WOW, the plane was amazing! It was the best first class cabin I have ever seen and the seats were perfect! They were like little pods just for you- perfect for sleeping and watching movies… which is what I did the entire way!

We finally landed in Paris and it was freezing! There was snow covering the ground and it was so pretty! Believe it or not, I’ve never in my life seen real snow before so I expected it to stay for days, but turns out the snow quickly melted within a day of us being there! But it was still freezing!

Where We Stayed

We arrived at our hotel around 5 PM the next evening. We stayed at Hotel Barriere Le Fouquet’s. It was a dream location to stay at in Paris I must say; we were in the middle of EVERYTHING: amazing food, shopping (literally right across from Louis Vuitton) and sightseeing were all within walking distance or just a 5 minute Uber ride away! We also enjoyed a couples massage at the hotel’s spa which was so relaxing after traveling for so long- safe to say, my husband definitely knows what I enjoy! All in all, everything from start to finish (including the incredible customer service) was perfect for our stay!

What We Ate

The first two meals we had were super authentic French restaurants that we thought would be a good idea to try. Turns out, not so much. I can’t even tell you the names of them because I don’t remember, but I’m a picky eater (especially when I go out of the country) and we really didn’t enjoy those meals. Thankfully, we found a Five Guys but this one was a little different. Apparently, it’s a huge tourist attraction because the lines were out the door, it was three stories tall and we had to wait for someone to get done eating to snatch a table as quickly as we could!

It tasted just like Five Guys in America though so we ate there twice! I also found a pizza spot, Pizza Vesuvio, right behind our hotel so we ate there twice and it was the best Italian food EVER! I ordered Lasagna and it was so good that we had to go again so Mike could get it the next time. We also tried another Italian restaurant, Vapiano, that Mike’s best friend (who we also visited while we were there since he’s playing basketball overseas there) told us about. This place had THE BEST PASTA I’ve ever tasted! They make it just for you, exactly how you want it, right in front of you… so that was pretty cool as well!

We also had a super romantic dinner at Le Jules Verne inside the Eiffel Tower which was quite an adventure in itself! We got to get all dressed up, making the whole night super fun.

The dinner was different than what we are used to: five small entrees and they bring them out every time you finish one with just a few bites each. For the most part, we had no clue what we were eating but we still ate it and it wasn’t THAT bad just very different. But the experience itself was just amazing getting to ride up the elevator to the restaurant, overlooking the whole city during dinner.

What We Did

Of course, we shopped till we dropped… well I did… after all, like I mentioned we were right in the middle of all the best shopping in Paris! With every shop within walking distance, I was bound to wind up in trouble there! We went to LV, Gucci, YSL, Chanel, Zara, H&M, and a few others. We had the most luck in LV and YSL where I purchased two bags: a LV Neverfull MM in the Damier Ebene material with the Rose Ballerine interior and the YSL Black Croc Nano Sac de Jour Tote which are super amazing investments in my collections that I will have for years to come!!


We visited The Louvre which is definitely something you have to see when in Paris! Even just the outside is so beautiful with the architecture of the buildings and the pyramids- it’s unbelievable! So gorgeous!

This is also where they hold the Mona Lisa and many other historic monuments in Paris! Plus, did you know it’s the largest museum in the world?

We rode The Big Wheel at Place de la Concorde at a sunset which was absolutely beautiful with views of The Louvre, Eiffel Tower, and Champs-Elysées- it was breathtaking especially at sunset!


We attached our locks on the “Love Lock Bridge” over the Seine River.


Of course, we went to the Eiffel Tower about three times during our trip because how can you not?


It’s a sight to see and it’s the one MUST that you have to experience when visiting Paris! It was truly amazing to see especially at night during the light show when it’s lit up and sparkling! WOW- It’s STUNNING!

Champs-Elysées is one of the most popular areas in Paris, which is where we stayed. SO many great places to shop, eat, great hotels, close to all the main attractions in Paris- it’s just the best location and everyone is out and about, dressed to impressed! It’s the ideal place to stay in or near when in Paris!

We even went to go see Fifty Shades FREED at the UGC Normandie Theater right across from our hotel. They showed the movie in English but with French subtitles (which was clearly fine with us being in France after all) I just couldn’t wait any longer to go see it!

My Overall Experience….

It’s one that I will never, ever forget and honestly, the only place I can say that I would LOVE to travel back to. With the fashion, scenery and romance, it was just so ME and I loved everything about it… once we found food we liked of course!  I loved the time of year that we went because the cold weather made it perfect to wear all of my super cute jackets I’ve been dying to wear. I am so happy that I got to experience it all with the love of my life because there’s no one on this planet I would have rather witnessed all that with… easily, it was one for the books for us! We will definitely… GOD willing… go back one day! 🙂

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What’s In My Carry On Bag + My Best Travel Tips

Mike and I just got back from our two-year anniversary trip to Paris- and OMG, it was absolutely the BEST trip I have ever been on! (I can’t wait to tell you guys all about it in my next post!)

But today’s post is going to be all about my best traveling tips and what I packed in my carry on to PARIS!

Since I do travel so much, I’ve gotten used to packing (like a pro), whether it’s back and forth from Florida to Texas, a weekend getaway, flying with the baby or even going out of the country!

The point is… my experience (for better or worse) is here to help you today! Here’s what was in my carry on for a 10-hour flight out of the country:

Roll-On Carry-On
For this trip I checked a big suitcase for all of my clothes, shoes and beauty products- especially the ones over 3.4 fl oz. (which is the max amount you’re allowed to have in a carry-on, FYI).

I knew I had to bring on a roll-on carry-on for all of my bags, jewelry, camera, and items I would need in case of an emergency, though- that way if my checked bag got lost, everything I care about or REALLY need is in my roll-on!

I always keep this one in the overhead compartment with my blanket and laptop for the plane ride, too! I also have my makeup, an extra set of clothes and travel size toiletries.

Purse/ Tote/ Backpack
In this bag I carry anything I think I will need handy during the flight so this includes:

Passport
Wallet
Cash
Chapstick
Gum
Charger
Pen
Under Eye Patches
Wet Wipes
Hand Sanitizer
Vitamin C
Benadryl/ Tylenol PM (we were on a 10 hour flight after all)
Sleep Mask
Makeup Wipes
Book
Jacket

I KNOW… IT SOUNDS like a lot, but these things are all super small (and definitely helpful!)

Packing Tips

Pack Strategically and Organized
This means pack accordingly so that it makes traveling that much easier and you know where everything is if you need to grab it while running through the airport.

I keep a VERY organized purse while traveling because I don’t want to be stressed out digging through my bag while I’m in a hurry… it just doesn’t make for peaceful traveling.

To help stay organized, I keep everything in separate pouches, so, ie: keeping my wallet, passports and boarding pass in my side pouch so those things are always handy, whether I’m checking in my bag, going through security or buying snacks.

Then I keep different pouches or makeup bags for different things, such as: one for my makeup, one for toiletries and one for tech accessories. This really helps me stay organized while traveling (and use all of the cute makeup bags I’ve collected along the way!)

Dress Comfortably For the Weather You’re Traveling To
I’m always prepared for the weather I am flying into because it could be 85 degrees where you’re traveling from and then 30 where you’re going! Carrying a light sweater is always a great idea when flying.

Bring All Necessary Accessories/ Entertainment For Flight
I always make sure to bring whatever is needed to keep myself (or the kids) entertained throughout the flight so I’m not going crazy waiting to land. For me this means always having my headphones, buying WiFi if the flight is super long or having a book or movie ready. Plus, I always have my mini blanket while flying- it’s just a comfort thing and I hardly ever fly without one!

Buy Water/ Snacks Before Your Flight
This is SO important to me because I’ve made the mistake too many times of not buying water… and then as soon as I get on the plane I’m thirsty or my throat hurts because the plane is too stuffy.

Even worse… if I need to make Ariah a bottle ASAP, how do I do it without water?!

Don’t wait until the flight attendant comes around with the cart (OK, so I may be a bit impatient) but I just think it’s better to go ahead and buy water after I get through the security gates.

With a bottle of water and a snack, I’m good to go the whole flight without waiting around for a small cup of water!

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Newborn Essentials

What an amazing learning experience it has been this past year. As we quickly approach the one year mark with our baby girl, I can still remember all the newborn moments and firsts we experienced- every time looking for advice from friends and family.

Every mama + baby is different, so this may not be a “one shoe fits all” approach, but these are some of the best products I found when Ariah was a newborn- and I hope they help you just as much as they helped me! And since my life is a constant go go go, I really wanted to make sure that the items I was using were practical for our fast-paced life!

 

Baby Bjorn Carrier/ Solly Wrap
What a lifesaver! If it’s any indication, Ariah’s first plane ride was at 2 months old, so we had to become instant pros at maneuvering an airport with a baby on board. I used the Solly Wrap a few times while she was smaller, switching to the Baby Bjorn when she was about 4-5 months and she could support her neck. It was amazing how I could carry my baby, keep my arms free and keep the weight off my back all at the same time.

Boppy
OMGOSH, we used the Boppy since DAY 1 and never looked back! Every day I found myself more in love with the Boppy, whether I was supporting her while breastfeeding or using it to keep her still in one place for a moment or two… of course, this was all before she learned to roll and crawl, then it was game over!

Diaper Genie
Who wants to smell the stinky diapers piling up in the trashcan, right? Having the Diaper Genie right next to her changing table kept everything clean and easy- without a single dirty diaper smell!

Maxi Cost Car Seat (From Seedlings– A Tampa Baby Boutique)
Easily one of the toughest decisions to make, we researched nonstop about which car seat to get for our daughter. Safety was obviously our number one priority… but that doesn’t mean it can’t be cute! We eventually found the perfect seat at our friend’s boutique in Tampa (Seedlings) and knew it was exactly what we were looking for. 10 months later and Ariah is still enjoying the safety and comfort of this seat, though it’s almost time to start looking for another… our baby girl is getting so big!

A major plus of the seat was that our favorite stroller, the Bugaboo Chameleon 3, had adapters to connect the two together, which made moving on the go a breeze! Snapping her in or taking her out was no problem, so whether we were doing it together or playing a little 1 on 1 with Ariah for the day, we were good to go.

Gucci Diaper Bag
While I was pregnant I was on the hunt for the perfect diaper bag. I knew it was something I felt comfortable splurging on since I would be using it ALL THE TIME- and yet it had to be practical for traveling as well.

From the start I knew an over the shoulder bag wouldn’t work well for me, so I had my eye on backpack diaper bags instead. When I found this Gucci bag, I was immediately obsessed! It is hands down one of the best investments I’ve ever made as a mom and I have no plans of putting it down anytime soon. With all of the different compartments and portable changing pad, it has everything we need when on the move.

Velcro Swaddles
Our little wiggle worm never liked to stay tucked in her swaddles, so when my mom found these Velcro swaddles, they were an absolute game changer! She stayed tucked and slept SO much better… and you know what that means, right? Yep… I slept better too!

Doc A Tot
I know that sometimes things don’t seem worth the money- and honestly, I went back and forth about buying this as well- but when I heard all of the moms raving about them, I knew it was worth a shot. I gave in and ordered the Doc A Tot bassinet dock and WOW, were they right… it was amazing! I used it everywhere: in our bed while we were watching TV, on the couch, traveling or staying at Grandma’s… you name it and we used it there. With so much added cushion and comfort, this is definitely a must-have!

4Moms Mamaroo
Knowing that I had been eyeing this for a while, my Nana and Pop gifted this to us at our baby shower. I loved all of the different settings, and obviously, it was adorable, so it was a must in our house! Ariah loved hanging out in it around the house, when I took a shower (can I get an AMEN for showering in peace mamas!?) and even napped in it during the day. Now that she’s a bit older, we still get use out of it, strapping her in for her morning bottle or to play and watch a few baby cartoons.

Babocush
I actually found out about this item from my wedding makeup artist and thought it was the coolest thing! You strap your baby in while they are laying on their bellies. Then you can turn it on to any of the different settings, add music or vibrations and just let them lay there… or even sleep for a few hours! Obviously, it has to be on a safe surface… it does vibrate after all… but it’s perfect for soothing them or relieving gas in their tiny, little, bellies.

Baby Tracker App
As first-time mamas we want to make sure we’re doing everything right, and the Baby Tracker App helped me to do just that. You can keep track of how much your baby is eating, ounces they are drinking, how long their naps are, when you changed their diaper, etc. Honestly, with everything going on… and hello, #MOMBRAIN is a real thing… it just helps to stay on top of all the things you need to do for your little one.

Wubbanub
At first as a newborn, I’ll admit, we were scared to give her a pacifier with a stuffed animal attached to the back of it for fear of it being a choking hazard. But we quickly fell in love with it and the Wubbanub has been her favorite comfort item ever since. Stay tuned because I think it may be a bit hard to wean her when the time comes!

Zip Up Onesies/ Gowns
Like a typical new mama, as soon as I found out I was having a girl I immediately thought about ALL of the adorable clothes I was going to dress her up in. And then I snapped out of it, haha! I HIGHLY recommend investing in long gown or zip up onesies ONLY and nothing with buttons if you ever want to get that squirmy wormy dressed!

Gripe Water
Where would we be without all of our mommy friends, right? Thankfully one of my friends recommended Gripe Water to me because though I had never heard of it before, I quickly found out that it’s basically magic for your baby’s tummy! It helps with hiccups and works to prevent colic or tummy discomfort so babies can pass all of the milk they’re drinking without getting fussy.

If Ariah was screaming her head off and I didn’t know what to do, I immediately went down the list: Sleep? Food? Diaper change? If nothing else worked I would give her some Gripe Water and the all-natural water would soothe her belly and change her mood within moments!

Dreft
Finally, I highly recommend this laundry detergent (or another baby safe brand) to keep your baby protected- especially for those with sensitive skin like Ariah. Remember, our clothes are always in constant contact with our little ones and even other people’s detergent would irritate her soft skin. Having natural and safe products to soothe our babies in should always be at the top of our list!

 

Down below I linked a bunch of our newborn must haves that I hope helps all of you new mommies, mommies-to-be or for you to pass to your friends that are new expecting!