Tag Archives: vacation

Tip Tuesday: Preparing our home….to leave for vacation!!!

Whenever I am leaving for vacation, there is the inevitable packing list and thing to do. (I will blog about both of these later.)

But this post is about all those last minute things we can do to make our house a happier place to return too.

(I will tease you with a shot of where I am…)

Photo: Good Morning!!!!

Outerbanks…2013!!! View from our back deck!!!

Ok….I digress …but this is what I envisioned as I frantically cleaned my house and prepared to move to a new house for a week.

If you haven’t thought about some of these ideas before, try it!

See if it doesn’t make you feel better!

Mentally prepare for breakfast. Have you ever gone away on vacation and you pull into the driveway to remember there is no milk for the baby? The pure exhausion of the trip summons you inside the house and behind the locked door. You are done. The kids can drink soda and lick the chocolate off a few granola bars for all you care….well…until tomorrow morning when you are hating life. haha.  So my advice is grab a few items that you will need that will NOT go bad in a week. I am grabbing some eggs, milk, cheese, butter, apple sauce and bread. I figure my kids can eat some scrambled, cheesy eggs with a slice of toast and a side of apple sauce and be pretty happy til I can grab a few items for lunch and beyond.

Empty every trash bin in the house. Have you ever left your home for a few days and you return and it smells like pee. And then you discovered the baby’s diaper in a trash can or the fish from dinner before you left. Get everything emptied. I go through all the bathrooms and empty everything.

Ask your neighbor to take your trash to the end of the driveway or curb on trash day. Let’s be honest…you don’t want to smell that trash after a week in the sun and neither does your neighbor. Plus, an empty trash can at the curb screams, “We are not home!!” Make sure you also ask him/her to put the trash can back at the end of the day.

Have all the kids make their beds. Then surprise them and put out a little piece of candy on everyone’s pillow for the return. How exciting would this be to walk into your room to a fun little treat??!!! and come on the kids…..they would love it??!! It’s like being in the hotel all over again!

Make sure to empty your washing machine. There are few things as bad as mildewed laundry sitting in your washing machine a few days or a week!!! I try to make my last load, before I head out, dishcloths or washcloths. They are notorious for hanging around the bathroom and kitchen. Make sure you toss these in the dryer before you leave. These don’t need to be folded nor will you worried about them being wrinkled.

Swifter the kitchen floor. I hate a gross floor and I love the smell of febreze swifter pads. So…once you get all those kids strapped in and the car/van is packed. Run back in and do a quick swifter around the kitchen. Trust me…you will be so glad that you did. =)

Clear out your fridge…especially your leftovers, vegetables and fruit.  You might be able to avoid this step if you have done an excellent job with meal planning. I always have some stuff leftover, so….I like to bring over a little bunch of veggies and leftover fruit to my next door neighbor.

Clear out your garden. If you have a summer garden like I do, your tomatoes are still doing well. I had the Fashionista drop a one gallon ziploc bag full of cherry tomatoes off to our neighbor before our left. She was so ecstatic! So great to brighten her day while keeping my garden clean and mushy tomato free.

Well, I’m off to enjoy my vacation here in Corolla!

I will check in with you later for the part two of this post: what to pack!!

God Bless,


Puerto Rico!!!!….(can’t I just go back….)

Our resort, the El Conquistador

Our resort, the El Conquistador

Vacation……even the word makes me smile…….

it was just like I imagined….hot sun….cool breeze…no rush…

The hubby and I just returned from a trip to Puerto Rico. It was an opportunity to be spoiled, by his company for a great sales year, and a chance for us to be rejuvenated, and refreshed. We stayed at this beautiful resort called the El Conquistador, that was nested in the side of a mountain. It was heavenly.

Here are some of my favorite “souveniors” from the trip:

  1. I am married to my best friend. Our marriage requires my time. Our relationship needs to be nurtured outside of monthly dates and business meetings. On this trip, we made sure we held hands and turned off our phones during our dates. We enjoyed not discussing our jobs as parents, but just talked about each other. We didn’t need a reminder that we are in love…we just needed time to indulge in it.
overlooking the Caribbean sea after drinks

overlooking the Caribbean sea after drinks

getting fancy for dinner

getting fancy for dinner

2.) Sometimes its fun just to goof off. To take insane photos and laugh about them later.

because...we think we are funny...

because…we think we are funny…

all for my son....he would have let that iguana crawl on him if I could get a shot...

all for my son….he would have let that iguana crawl on him if I could get a shot…

acting like I'm a model...can you tell I just went shopping before the trip?

acting like I’m a model…can you tell I just went shopping before the trip?

3.) Be willing to do something that you have never done before. You will gain a new sense of confidence and pride that you don’t expect. The hubby and I had so many opportunities for fun when we were in Puerto Rico. It was just a matter of making the time/effort and going. One of these opportunities included taking a water ferry to a private island called Los Palominos and going horseback riding. It was, initially, very intimidating and scary. Neither one of us felt confident in handling a horse up the mountain top and being in control. We were going up a rocky mountain on the island and it was stressed that we needed to be able to be calm and exhibit control. It was tought…but the view was sooooo worth it.

A view of Los Palominos

A view of Los Palominos


yep….that was one bad ass horse. She gave me trouble the whole time. I felt like I was correcting one of my kids.

the hottie hubby

the hottie hubby

our view from the top

our view from the top

4.) Enjoy MANY of the local favorites…..no worries there.

mango daiquiri

mango daiquiri

appetizer and drinks

appetizer and drinks

5.) Never take beauty for granted. Stop and take in the beautiful surroundings. I think I must have taken several pictures of the same things. I was so overwhelmed by how gorgeous everything was.

view of the marina

view of the marina

the view from our tram looking down into the marina.

the view from our tram looking down into the marina.

hot tourists...

sorry…that one was just “begging” to be in the mix. =)

view from our hotel room

view from our hotel room

the cathedral in town

the cathedral in town

6.) Take pictures together. Make a point of having other people take photos for you. Try and not delete them.  Treasure those memories even if you think you look fat, or short, or whatever.

before the beach...

before the beach…

before dinner

before dinner

7.) Most of all, try to “capture time”. This last picture is my favorite from the trip. It really shows how relaxed my husband and I are. It was taken our last day in Puerto Rico, and we were leaving in a few hours to go home. At this point, we were ready to see our kids….ready to get back to reality…..cuz, see….we really LOVE our life!!!

lovin' this guy

lovin’ this guy

Excited to go…afraid to leave……

I leave today for four days and three nights with the hubs in Puerto Rico! I can’t believe after all these months of counting down that the day is finally here!!! I’m ready for this……


cocktails by the pool

And some relaxing with the hubs like this……(no places to rush off to, no phones ringing, kids yelling….just us)


But….before we can get to that…..I’ve got the packing to do……I picked up my reading material for the flight (otherwise I will talk my poor husband’s ear off). You can see all the jewelry I am putting aside to take with me and all the 3 oz. bottles I snagged at target…haha.

puerto rico packing

However…in all honesty…It’s not the packing that is on my mind…..it’s these little ones……


whenever the hubby and I leave for a trip….I can’t help but wonder…

what if we don’t come back?

Do you ever think about that?

I have cried everyday in the shower this week thinking about that. Some of you might think, “that’s a terrible thought!”…but just look at the Boston Marathon. I’m sure none of those people were thinking their lives would be changed forever….

 I just LOVE my children that much. I don’t want them to ever deal with the pain of losing their parents at an early age. It makes me overwhelmed that my tender little children could possibly have to suffer. However, I can’t live my life in fear either. I want my children to know that I lived life to the fullest.

Legal Zoom has helped me to practically handle all my concerns if something was to happen. (once again, I cried as I completed this process…..)

My feelings are summed up pretty well in this song by Garth Brooks…….

“If tomorrow never comes….will she know how much I loved her….did I try in every way to show her everyday…that she’s my only one? And if my time on earth were through, and she must face this world without me…is the love I gave her in the past going to be enough to last…if tomorrow never comes……

So….I will kiss their little cheeks tonight as they go to bed. I will sing them their personal bedtime songs and snuggle in for some kisses and hugs….and I will pray that I’m blessed enough to return to them.

Lord God, watch over my little babies. Keep them safe…..