Category Archives: Travel


Now that I’m dedicating the time to catch up on blogging, I thought this would be the perfect time to reminisce on this past summer. We thought we’d take advantage of living within a few hours of Red River, NM to go visit the quaint, beautiful town. Little did we know it at the time, but I was about one week pregnant, which explains the constant stops we had to make while “hiking” (how much hiking can you do with two kids under 4 years of age, though, for real?). Everything was so amazing and Shawn and I both cherished every moment – including our chalet, which housed a full kitchen, dining room, living room, and two bedrooms upstairs. We only wished we could have stayed longer!

 

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Well, hello guys! It’s been a while, huh… So, I was visiting my parents’ in North Carolina in May, and I decided to bring my computer with me so I could get some work done. It was halfway through my visit that my sister, Tiffany, and I talked about my visit to their new flat in Ann Arbor, MI. I realized that I would have to drive, and I had a lot of decorations that I wanted to buy and bring with me. Long story short, I decided to leave my computer at my folks’ place to make room for all the decor I’d be driving with to Matt and Tiff’s new place (I knew I’d be back to visit my parents not long after I drove to my sister’s). It was the LONGEST two months without my computer. I didn’t realize how often I would need it. In retrospect, it was an awful idea, and I will never make that call again. I can’t live that long without editing my photos!!!

All of this goes to say that I have a lot of blog posts coming your way.

Today’s post features my sister and brother-in-law’s new flat in Ann Arbor. It is seriously the greatest place! I wish I had time to take more photos of the kitchen, bathrooms and bedrooms, but I shot these photos on our way out the door (we were driving to my Aunt’s place in Niagara Falls, Canada, that morning).

Anyway, I can’t wait to go back and visit so we can hang out in their gorgeous clubhouse, workout in their awesome weight room, and chill by the pool. It’s like a resort, honestly! Oh, and did I mention that Ann Arbor is one of the highest-ranked places to live in the United States? What a beautiful place; and Matt and Tiff live in the heart of the city! I’m actually so jealous!

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So, this post is close to my heart. My girls go with me to Starbucks several times a week. I plan all my meetings there, and I love it! More importantly, though, my girls love it. I’ve figured out how to keep them occupied and it’s made my life so much easier. Scroll down for suggestions on how to keep your kids occupied in a not-so-kid-friendly place.

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First thing’s first. When you tell your kids you’re going to Starbucks (or wherever you like to go), make it exciting for them. Tell them in a tone of voice that encourages them to have a hyper and even giddy attitude. Occasionally, buy them some sort of a treat. It’s a positive reinforcement and they’ll associate Starbucks with something they like. I don’t get treats for Marlowe every time (Fletcher’s too young for treats); sometimes I’ll pack treats for her to eat and I will just get her a drink of water in a “fancy Starbucks cup”. She loves it, either way.
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Toys are absolutely necessary if you’re going to a coffee shop. Like you need telling, right? Moms know this. Yet, how often do I forget to pack toys in my hurry to get out the door and get my Starbucks Refresher? My solution: keep a bag of toys in the car for occasions like this. Don’t ever take it out of the car.SurvivingStarbucks (6)SurvivingStarbucks (7)SurvivingStarbucks (8)

Last year, I bought this DVD player from [Amazon.com], and it has been a life saver. It runs off batteries when it’s not plugged in and it lasts for hours. Side note: I also bought a strap to attach it to the back of the car headrest, and Marlowe watches movies on our 25-hour-long road trips to visit family. It keeps her occupied and it makes my life easier. SurvivingStarbucks (9)

Finally, if your kids are like mine, and everyone else’s, they love attention from their parents. When I’m meeting with friends or whomever at Starbucks, Marlowe loves to interrupt us on a regular basis. It’s inevitable, and most of the time the other person is understanding! To keep the interruptions from becoming full-blown temper tantrums, briefly excuse yourself from the conversation, and give your kid(s) the attention they so desire. Smile at them, laugh at whatever they’re trying to tell you, and encourage them to keep being “wonderful” or “good”. SMILE is the key word. It reinforces their positive attitude and let’s be honest. Nobody likes a parent who talks to their kid in a loud, angry voice in public if it’s not necessary. *On the other hand, if your kid is super upset and misbehaving, feel free to talk to them as sternly as you need to. My trick is to ask Marlowe if she “needs to go to the bathroom”, and then discipline her in there without worrying about making noise.*

So, in summary: bring treats (make sure they’re things to eat that are out of the ordinary, so they’re actually treat-treats), keep a bag of toys in the car for special occasions such as this, bring a portable DVD player, and don’t forget to pay your kid(s) attention when they begin to get restless.

Hope this helps!