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Monday, February 19, 2018

Valentines 2018

If Valentines is meant to be a holiday to celebrate love, we have plenty to go around at our house. The kids and I started the celebration early with stories and crafts at Barnes and Noble.  We got so many compliments on their festive outfits - I love that they humor me and will happily get dressed up for the occasion.  The story they heard was Click Clack Moo, I Love You and they had the cutest activities and Valentines to color.  Luke especially loved that there was a fox in the story.  Of course, we all left the bookstore with a few new books which is the best part of the entire adventure. 

This year was the first time that the kids needed to make Valentines boxes and they were the most excited.  I found some pretty red and silver boxes and then bought a lot of different stickers and let them have free reign to decorate.  It was funny to watch how strongly their personalities came out in the way they decorated....Luke was meticulous and wanted everything to be neat and symmetrical...Ruby had no plan and only cared about stacking on as many stickers as possible.  They boxes turned out amazing and they were both so excited to show off their projects at school.

Tim and the kids surprised me with flowers the night before Valentines, and then the kids convinced us to give them a few Valentines treats early.   We have so much fun giving them holiday surprises - it's hard not to when they get so excited and appreciative over little dollar store surprises and other simple gifts.  I had to leave early the next morning but left a few more treats including pink strawberry milk and some new valentine pets.  Both Luke and Ruby loved their school parties and were especially excited about the candy and prizes that ended up in their boxes.  We finished up the night with a family date night and pizza.  We are all so lucky to have each other to love!

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Mexico January 2018 - The Details

Clearly we love Mexico, we love, the views, and we love the beach.  Depending on where we stay there are so may extra details that make the trip even better.  The Iberostar where we stayed is an all inclusive with various buffets and restaurants.  Both Tim and I were a little nervous about the food and whether we would be able to find food to fit all of our restrictions.  I had just officially switched to gluten free at the beginning of January and Tim had started eating Keto - so we both had a lot of restrictions, but completely different nutritional needs.  Fortunately for Tim, there was plenty of meat, eggs and guacamole and I think he was able to eat well the entire time.  The first night at the buffet I asked one of the chefs if there was a list of foods or way to know what was gluten free because it all felt so overwhelming.  I was quite surprised when they sent over a chef who is assigned to help people with food allergies.  He was incredible and offered me all sorts of options, including him making me my own meal of rice, fish and vegetables.  For the rest of the week they completely took care of me, catering to the gluten free requirements, and individualizing nearly everything I ate - he even made sure I had dessert.  It was such a relief and I ate incredible food all week.

Thank goodness flan is gluten free

Sushi Star

Tim was in heaven

Of course I had to have a margarita at the pool bar for my mom.

Working out while on vacation is something we have always done, so a good gym is high on my list of priorities.  We have stayed at the Iberostar before and their gym has always been perfectly acceptable.  One the first morning I headed out to the gym  and was confused when the doors were locked and they had a sign directing people to a new gym. I walked around the corner to find a brand new, beautiful gym that was nicer than anything I have ever seen in Mexico.  The best part was that it had only been open for about a half hour. Just my luck to arrive on the day of their grand opening.  We had a great time using the facilities and love getting in some good activity to counteract all of the food and the time lying on the beach.

Nothing better than running in the sunshine

Tim had a great time playing volleyball

Each day the maid created something new with our towels

We have very few activities or adventures to show, but 
Six days of interrupted reading is my idea of a perfect vacation
Made it through three books, all perfect for the beach

Image result for book right behind you

Mexico January 2018 - The Views

I remember the first time I went to Mexico and how surprised I was by the beauty.  I had seen a lot of pretty places before, but this was stunning and better than any postcard could ever portray.  In all of the time that I have been back, I am still consistently awed by the amazing sights.  I feel like I have so many pictures of the same views, the same ocean, and the same beaches, but it never seems to get old.  Photos are the best way to bring home a little piece of one of my favorite places in the world.

And the best views require proof that we were really there...

The resort was immaculate and we loved being surrounded by so much beauty

Of course, the wildlife is equally stunning.

Afternoon walks are my favorite for discovering new views

The sunrises never disappoint

Not a bad view when waiting out a rainstorm

Tim's favorite trees