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Mexico with IRIS

In February we visited the beautiful and warm Puerto Vallarta with IRIS, a Canadian eyewear company that I have been an brand ambassador for over the last few years. Last year we went to snowy Lake Louise to shoot for winter and this year we got to experience Mexico with them.

We were shooting frames & sunglasses for their spring campaign and took the whole family along. The surroundings there just make it the perfect place to shoot, and obviously the perfect place to relax between shooting. The earthy tones of Mexico from the sand, adobe walls, palms, tiles, and pretty much everything else inspires me and is my ideal backdrop.

We got to spend time with the IRIS team and see all of the spring/summer styles. As you know, I’m a sucker for sunglasses and getting to try all the different styles on is so much fun for me. IRIS such a large variety of brands and styles that it’s good for me to be pushed outside of my Ray-Ban comfort zone sometimes and mix it up.

 

Another fun part of the trip was IRIS Ambassador and influencer/host Camille Dg being there with us. We hadn’t met before since we’re from opposite ends of Canada but we had fun working alongside each other and wandering the colorful town of Nayarita.

The kids also enjoyed being there and getting to take advantage of the beach & pools during the day and of course practice modelling glasses behind the scenes. Monkey see, Monkey do.

If you visit an IRIS store you’ll see the shots from our trip displayed this spring.

Life Lately

I actually don’t know the last time I did a post of this kind…. other than our updates from Mexico, maybe years ago?! So I figured I’d just take this downtime during the kids nap to write a very casual post about our life these days.

Poppy & Skipper both had birthdays in January, they turned 4 & 1, and Poppy also started preschool twice a week (which she lovesss). Although I thought Skip would definitely be walking by his first birthday we’re just now, in April, starting to get some distance out of him with his steps. I think that a month from now he will finally give up crawling. Hallelujah! I’m ready to get those little hands off the floor of every public place.

We did a lot of trips in the year some for vacation and some for work which was really nice to get to spend sometime in different places.

People often ask me if we are headed back to Mexico anytime soon. We don’t have anything calendar, we cancelled a trip that we had book in February and haven’t rebooked anything yet. Although I’m starting to really miss it. Now that I’m settled back home I really do miss a lot of things about the lifestyle & pace we had there and I’m aching to get back for a visit. Along with a handful of other countries & cultures we would love to experience in the next couple years (but I mean, who wouldn’t…).

It’s a strange thing both of us being self employed and really having the freedom to be able to work from anywhere because it often tempts me to spend evenings looking at rentals in different cities (mostly warmer, sunnier cities – Any one want to house swap ;)? ) Or searching craigslist for camper vans for us to live out of down the west coast for a while. I’m still working on convincing David into that one haha, 88 square feet with toddlers…. come on, sounds fun, right?!

But I’m trying to stay patient and enjoy where we are right now. Being totally present in this season and even each day is important to me and I have to work hard at it.

I’m going to list some life lately questions below, and you are totally welcome to steal them and repost yourself or copy and paste them to answer in the comments below!

Lately I am….

Eating for breakfast: Smoothie Bowls (or just chopped up fruit) with Granola

Reading: No Compromise – The life story of Keith Green, such a good book! I love the entire 70’s California hippie vibes that it starts off with and I’m so inspired by the boldness of their fatih. Also, rereading Radical by David Platt

Eyeing up: Southern California Beach Homes

Wearing on repeat: My Levi’s, duh, and white blouses.

Inspired by: Mostly those two books I’m reading, and trying to get inspired by more old school stuff; preachers, books, music, homes. Trying to keep my mind from being Instagram & Pinterest brain washed when it comes to style, homes, etc.

Doing before bed: Loving baths and a glass of wine, journalling, Bengal Spice tea (seriously addicted to this), Fixer Upper episodes (how is this show ending?!).

Listening to: Bahamas – Earthtones, Angus & Julia Stone – Snow, The Beach Boys.

Wishing I was better at: Waking up before the kids to stretch & read.

Trying to stop: Wasting time on my phone and eating dairy. Buying the world’s largest wheel of Brie yesterday was a step in the wrong direction, but it was half price… what do you expect.

 

Disneyland

In December we took the kids to Disneyland on our way back from Mexico, my parents also met us there after not seeing the grandkids since the summer. David and I went to Disneyland for my 20th birthday, his first time, and we had fun but David said he wanted to wait to come back until we had kids so he could experience the magic through them.

Poppy was at the perfect age to experience it for the first time. I received messages from a handful of readers wondering how it was for kids this age (Poppy is 4 and Skipper is 1) and we actually really enjoyed it! (Of course having my mom there who that is more than happy to sit out of a ride and hold Skipper made it easier). Poppy really loves Disney Princesses so that was definitely a highlight for her, and for us getting to watch her, meeting the princesses. She was in awe, so fun!

We stuck to the little kid friendly rides and had very low expectations of what the day would be; if a line was too long we didn’t bother. The only one we were disappointed we missed out on was the Cars Land racing ride, if I had known I would go there first thing to get a fastpass.

In the afternoon we headed back to the hotel for a couple hours to let them rest and then returned to the park for dinner and a few more rides. The kids fell asleep in their stroller at bedtime and we just kept walking around enjoying Disney at night. I’m so glad that we used disneyland double stroller rental, it made everything so much easier. The kids are both too young to be walking around all day so the stroller was a great help for us. We then went back to the hotel in the early evenings. The hotels at Disneyland are something else. It is definitely worth all the money that we paid. Every time we visit this place, the experience that we have always seems to change, in a good way. The use of the hotel booking software that the hotel had in place made it a lot easier for us to check in when we got there. Especially being at one of the best places in the world, you’d rather be straight in after you’ve checked in, than waiting in a long queue. Just everything about staying here was great. I can’t wait to get to do this again with the kids!

Sleeping Beauty was the very first character we came across which was the one Princess that Poppy really wanted to see, so that was awesome! Her mind was blown, and my mind was blown wondering how that girl smiles and talks in that voice all day long.

Teacups was our first ride,

Poppy not so sure about it before her first ride started… but she quickly approved.

Family Vacation in Hawaii

For years we have been looking forward to taking our family to Hawaii, it has a special place in mine and David’s hearts. I’m glad we waited until the kids were this age because it was a lot of fun at this stage (other than the flights… flying with a one year old is something special haha). I mean, vacation with kids is so different from what it used to be when it was just the two of us. A lot more chasing and a lot less tanning but I think we figured out a great balance on how to vacation with kids! Don’t worry, we haven’t been put off future travel with the kids either. In fact, we are already looking at Costa Rica as our next destination. I think you might have the same urge if you visit the Buena Vista website.

We stayed at the Outrigger Reef Waikiki Beach Resort and it really was an ideal set up with the kids. They have a large pool area in the center of the resort and it’s just a few steps away from the beachfront. So we could go back and forth from playing in the sand to the pool (and when I say pool I meant the hot tub, because there was no getting Poppy out of there). I found the beach area in front of our hotel to be a lot quieter than others, which is good when you have a one year old constantly crawling away like a baby turtle trying to escape to the sea.

The beach is of course beautiful as ever, lots of water activities right there, catamarans and the Outrigger’s Reef Bar & Market Grill restaurant overlooking the water. Our kids are a bit too young to partake in water sports, but when they’re older we can refer to these exciting adventures you can get up to on vacation for a more active time. That’s what I’m looking forward to most, I think. Being able to do different activities with them, and spending some quality time with each other on this beautiful island is something that I really am excited about. Watersports, along with taking them fishing in Hawaii on its picturesque water is definitely on our bucket list and I can’t wait for this special time. But for now, we are looking to enjoy the different things that this island can offer us.

We’ve been learning a thing or two about travelling with young kids and for us we need to book a room that has a seperate bedroom so that we can still enjoy our evenings. Our kids crash pretty early but if we try to be in the same room as them while they go to sleep it’s a total gong show. Those evenings in the hotel room ended up being some of our favourite times on vacation, sitting on the balcony hearing the live music happening around the pool and eating our take out dinners. So relaxing.

Another highlight was the Voyager 47 Club. There are certain rooms that include the Voyager 47 Club lounge access (or you can purchase to have access) and this was seriously that best addition to our days. Every morning there is a breakfast buffet and coffee bar overlooking the ocean. If you have little kids you know that vacation doesn’t mean sleeping in. So in the morning Poppy and I would come downstairs early to watch the sunrise and eat breakfast. When the boys woke up they would come meet us. I really enjoyed this because restaurants with kids first thing in the morning is hard, waiting for everyone to be awake and then by the time your food actually comes you’re a couple meltdowns in.

Same thing in the evening, there are yummy appetizers and cocktails during sunset. This was the time of day when our children would eat way too much gouda while we drank an Ocean Breeze in a bit of peace. If you stay at the Outrigger I highly recommend including this Voyager 47 perk in your stay.

We had a bunch of good breakfast & dinner restaurants on our list and we didn’t end up going to them because how can you give up breakfast overlooking the ocean. Also the pool side nachos at the outrigger were amazing! Would you judge me if I told you we ate those everyday….?

I think other than Poppy’s disappointment of not meeting Moana it was a great vacation and one that we really hope we can make a tradition with our family. After a recommendation from a family friend, we are looking at potentially going with a rental villa through someone like Exceptional Villas for our next vacation.

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