Mother’s Day and Piglet’s Birthday

This year, I got to share Mother’s Day with my favorite little guy. We had a party at his Kempo dojo yesterday, and it was such a good time with his friends and family. Today, even though we’d had a birthday party, we wanted to keep the birthday weekend going, so we let him make most of the decisions on what we would do. We ended up going to two playgrounds, one park, building Legos, watching a little bit of a movie, getting books at the library, and playing in the kiddy pool, topped off with both our favorites, sushi. He was exhausted and fell asleep giggling. It was a pretty wonderful day, and it was one of those days where he had a great attitude, even though he was exhausted. My favorite part was playing walkie talkies with him at the park.

Match got me flowers and a super sweet card. I love the drawing he made for the envelope. So sweet!

I was super excited to get the gift Piglet made at Daycare. Match has one from Father’s Day a few years ago, and now I have my own to take with me wherever I go!

 

Thank you for making my day so special, and for all the joy and laughter you’ve brought to our lives. I cannot believe how fast the last 5 years have flown by. You are our amazing, silly, funny, loving, stubborn, happy little man. Every day I’m so grateful we get to raise you. I’m honored that you call me your best friend. You are my heart, buddy. We love you so. Way, way more than you know!

Quirky Bachelorette Ideas

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Bachelorette parties are pretty much always a lot of fun, but often once you’ve been to one of them, you’ve been to them all. So, if you’re looking to do something a bit more memorable for your own or a friend’s big night, it’s time to think outside the box. Do something different and no one will ever forget what a great night it was!

 

To get you started, here are some slightly quirkier bachelorette ideas for your consideration:

 

An Escape Room Adventure

 

Escape rooms have become pretty popular in the past couple of years, but there still aren’t that many bachelorettes who have thought of the activity for their big night. You can choose from a wide range of scenarios from tracking down a kidnapper to being hijacked on a plane and you have to work to put the pieces together and get yourself out of that escape room in 60 minutes flat. Your adrenaline will be pumping and everyone will have a great time bonding as they try to break free. Follow the game up with cocktails and a nice meal and you’ll have a fantastic, unforgettable night. Escape rooms can be found all over the country so chances are you should be able to find one close by that works for you.

 

Eat This, Shoot That

 

The Eat This, Shoot That tour that is available in Santa Barbara is a great idea for those of you who like a bachelorette party with a lot of wine. Not only are you treated to a tasting of some of the best local wines in the Funk Zone – home to some of the coolest eateries in the area, or at the Santa Barbara Wine Collective, but you also get let loose with a camera and learn how to shoot the fine food and drink you eat professionally. If your bride-to-be is a keen Instagrammer, she’ll adore this idea.

 

Get All Arty

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The Artful Bachelorette in Los Angeles is an amazing live drawing class that gives you an entirely different kind of bachelorette experience. If that sounds a little boring, you should know that as well as drawing some very hunky guys, there’s plenty of the bubbly stuff on tap and a real party atmosphere. It can get surprisingly wild for a drawing class.

 

Go to Camp

 

Now that you’re all adults, you might think that your days of attending summer camp are behind you, but they really don’t have to be. Club Getaway located in Kent, Connecticut is an adults-only camp where you can indulge in the kind of fun you had as kids like singing around the campfire and swimming in the lake, with the added bonus that there’s booze and some distinctly more grown-up games like beer pong to enjoy too. What bride-to-be could resist?

 

Get Your Yoga On

 

If you’re looking for something that’s a bit more relaxing to do before the wedding, you can’t beat a soothing yoga retreat. You’ll all learn to channel your inner peace and have lots of fun knowing that you’ll all have a clear head in the morning.

Time to rethink that cocktail party?

For a More Playful Wedding Reception, Try These Ideas

Weddings are celebrations; they’re about love and coming together, so that means they should be fun and playful. When they’re overly structured and stiff, it just becomes boring for everyone involved. That’s clearly not what you want, so it’s up to you to find fun ways to make your wedding day a little more playful and interesting for everyone who attends it. If you’re not sure where to start with all this, the ideas below will help you out a lot.

 

Create a Wedding Piñata

 

This is a really fun idea if you want to immediately add some spice and fun to your wedding day. What could be more fun than repeatedly whacking a piñata with a stick. All your guests can have a go at it and extract as many treats from inside it as possible. It can be a really great way to kick off your wedding reception party.

 

Get Everyone on the Dance Floor as Soon as Possible

 

The dance floor is without doubt the most important part of the wedding reception venue. If you don’t have space for everyone to get up and dance, the venue isn’t fit for purpose. It should be your main a to get everyone up and dancing as soon as you can because that’s when the real fun of the day begins. Start with the best music that you know is going to make people want to dance.

Choose a Photo Booth for Your Photos

 

Rather than hiring a regular photographer to take care of your photos on your big day, you should try to look a little further afield. These days, more people are using photo booth options because they’re more fun and allow you to be creative and playful alongside your guests. Booth Boy Photo Booths focus on allowing you express yourself and let your hair down. It’s not like normal wedding photography at all. I wanted a photo booth at our wedding, and I still regret that we didn’t get one! 

 

Incorporate Old Memories and Photos

 

Your wedding day doesn’t happen in isolation. It takes years of memories to get to that point, so why not have some with old memories and old photos that are meaningful to you both when designing the reception hall. It can be a lot of fun but it also has depth and meaning to it too.

 

Don’t Forget About the Party Games

 

There should always be party games for people to enjoy at your wedding reception. This is when people can really have a good time, and if the drinks have already been flowing for a while at this point, it’ll only be even more fun. Do some research and find the games you feel will be best for the wedding setting.

 

Your wedding shouldn’t be a drag for your guests. If you want them to remember your wedding for years to come, you should make use of these ideas and any of your own that you have. That way, it’ll be a feast of fun, and they’ll never sit their bored out of their minds like they do at other weddings.

Everything Need To Know About Buying A Vacation Home (But Were Afraid To Ask!)

Parting with the amount of money a vacation home costs is a big deal for any family. After all, you don’t want to waste your money, not get what you were looking for, or end up paying more than you actually should. However, the process of buying a vacation home, especially if it’s in another state or country can be a complex one. That is why I have put together the guide below that should help you to answers all the question you have about the process, even the one that you were afraid to ask!

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Is it a good idea?

 

If you are considering buying a vacation home, one of the first questions you may be asking yourself is whether it is a good idea? After all, only those folks with loads of money to spare have second homes purely for taking a break in, right? Well, yes and no! Of course, there are many rich and famous people that have multiple properties in which to spit their time. However, buying a holiday home can be a good investment in many ways.

 

The first way that buying a vacation home is a good investment is that you can save money on family breaks. That’s right it can work out cheaper to pay for your vacation home where you can follow your schedule, take your pets and cook for yourself, rather than paying for enough hotel rooms for everyone, especially if you have a large family!

 

The second way that buying a vacation home can be a good investment is that you can make money on it. You can do this either by selling it on when the market is good and therefore making a profit on your original investment. Alternatively, another way to make money from this sort of property is to lease it out during the periods that you and your family are not there. This then creates an additional income, something that is often used toward the mortgage on the property making it much more manageable debt.

 

What types of homes are on offer?

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Apartments make popular vacation homes for couples and small families.

 

Once you have decided to go the whole hog, you need to consider what type of homes are on offer and what would suit your needs best. There is, of course, a wide variety that you can choose from including condos, apartments, townhouses, and low rises.

 

The key issue here is to pick something that both suits the use you will be putting it to, and that fits your budget comfortably. For example, if you have 3 or 4 children that will be traveling with you to your vacation home, you will need to look at a larger property such a townhouse, so you all have enough space to enjoy your break. However, if you are looking for a vacation home for just you and your significant other, a smaller condo or apartment may work just as well.

 

Where should we buy?

 

Now, everyone knows that when it comes to real estate, location is king, and this is no different when you are buying a holiday home. In fact, there are two points you need to consider in term of location before you buy.

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The first is whereabouts in the world you will choose for your vacation home. Some folks like to keep their choices within the US, preferring to pick a place in another state that is easy to travel to. This has particular advantages because it enables them to take weekends away without too much hassle or cost.

 

Others prefer to look further afield for their vacation homes, even going so far as exotic places like Malaysia and Singapore. In particular, Singapore is a popular choice because not only is a fabulously modern city-state with excellent public facilities, but the HDB resale price is on the downturn at the moment. What this means is that it is an excellent time to purchase a state-subsidized HDB (Housing and Development Board) property at a great price, making owning a home in such an exciting location well within many more families’ reach.

 

The second issue when it comes to picking the location for your vacation home is the actual position of the property within the areas it is based. This relates more to which neighborhood you would like to live in, as well as the surrounding landscape including whether there are areas of outstanding natural beauty such as mountains, beaches, or lakes nearby.

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Of course, different families will have varied requirements in term of the placement of their home. Although it is worth bearing in mind that buildings located close to beaches and mountains often include a premium added to the value of the property itself, so can cost significantly more.

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How do we buy?

 

Lastly, for many families, the actual process of purchasing their second home is something they would like to know more about before getting down to the nitty-gritty of signing the documents. Of course, the process does depend on where about you are making your purchase as different states and countries have different laws that need to be followed.

 

In general, though, the first step is to identify some areas that appeal to you and investigate them in more detail. Are they safe, clean, and pleasant? Are they primarily residential, or are they are there local businesses in the areas as well, and how do you feel about this? Also remember to consider what the local facilities are like such as medical centers, shops, and entertainments?

 

Our Vacation Dream Come True

Readers, as I write this, I’m in the gorgeous Puerto Vallarta, at the Hard Rock Hotel. It is so amazing here! It is everything we had hoped it would be. The weather, the food, the activites, the friendly staff. We have an ocean view from our room, something we weren’t expecting.

The only negative we’ve experienced is Piglets attitude. We think this latest milestone (he will be 5 in May) has created the need to push limits. He has had a bad attitude and been very sassy with us. I also know he’s so overtired from all the activity, and the change in routine. As I write this, he is taking a nap, and I know it will do wonders for his mood. Lets just say the kids club has been incredibly helpful as well! We have been able to check him in to play while we get an hour at a time to ourselves.

He’s been a good boy for the most part, and I know he will be better as we make sure he gets his naps. We have had some pretty sweet moments as a family too.

We still have 2 more nights here, and we are soaking it all in. Match and I were able to get some amazing couple time. We have had long walks on the beach, worked out together at the gym, and this morning we had a yoga class and we were the only ones who attended. It felt like having a private couples lesson. Yesterday we went to a wild pool party. We didn’t stay long, but it was some great people watching.

Piglet made a friend with a sweet little boy and his younger brother. The parents are really nice as well, and it has been great letting the boys play while we relax poolside.

The all inclusive part of the hotel is the only way to travel. It is so nice having poolside service, and knowing we can order whatever we want. We have been sipping wine, pina coladas, margaritas, and been served nachos and pizzas. It definitely feels like we are living the rich life. A girl could get used to this!