The whole purpose of my blog is following a journey to the things I’m passionate about. This is why everything I write is about traveling, weddings, college, my husband (possibly mentioned in every singly article I have out there- minus the shaving my legs one but let’s be real, I need those smooth legs to impress, TMI, and these parentheses have gone on far too long), etc. Anyway, since as long as I can remember I’ve loved creating art, jewelry, clothes, even before I was good at it (better now by the way). So I’m taking my show on the road (on the line)!
So I have a few collections and you get a little sneak peek of each
Mermaid Collection, obviously I have one of those because…obsessed.
Cause Collection, each of these items support a different cause and there is a lot of work to be done in the world.
Mystery Collection, special little boxes with a surprise inside! You choose the kind of lady you are, intellectual, Slay all day, artsy, etc.
Two more collections will be introduced in November (just in time for the holidays) and I’m so excited!
Well we did it! Our first plane ride and also international trip done with our baby. I definitely have at least 10 grey hairs coming in from the time I found out my child was coming with me, through pet care falling through just days before the flight, nerves of keeping her chill during my brother’s wedding, through just the trip itself BUT we did it.
So I had absolutely not planned the travel around our daughter’s nap time because she wasn’t going to come with us originally so I really just had to hope for the best. Our first leg was about an hour and half at 5am. So we had to get up at 3am to pack the car and get us ready. Got our little up at 3:30 to change her for us to leave for the airport at 3:40am. I was hoping she would sleep through the airport but no dice. She was wide awake looking around at 4am waving to the crowds! I was able to hold off on her bottle until take off however which is exactly what I was hoping for on that. I left about 1-1.5oz for landing. Remember, the most common reasons babies cry on planes is because our their ears.
We had a three hour layover in Atlanta before our five and a half hour flight to St. Lucia. The goal was to eat breakfast and grab lunch for the plane as we wouldn’t be arriving until roughly 3pm. And after landing in a foreign country you got immigration so we had to get food.
Breakfast worked pretty well all in all but lunch. Did. Not. So even though there’s plenty of little restaurants, you can’t rely on them to have Mac and cheese. You don’t know when they’re going to start serving lunch (probably 11), you don’t know. So my advice is bring food. Not just snacks, food. It took a lot of effort but we worked it out; definitely a stressor though.
What I’d fly with again
Snacks AND food (puffs, applesauce, pasta, nuggets, etc)
Extra clothes (smart for an extra one for you too just in case)
All normal diaper things- rash cream, extra extra diapers, wipes
Cleaning wipes!! Lysol AND pacifier wipes. Especially the paci wipes.
Sippycup for water
Pacifiers (like a lot)
Some of this doesn’t apply to older kids, obviously. For reference, my daughter was 11 months at time of travel. Super mobile with crawling and using furniture to walk from side to side and not walking. We did infant in lap and there were three of us traveling so we didn’t have strangers in our row (bless!). If you go to my Instagram you’ll see exactly what products I was using and what I liked and didn’t like.
Hopefully my mistakes and stresses will help you for your family travel in the future. Don’t listen to people who only want to complain. Your baby belongs wherever you want to take him or her.
2023 is my first year of being a mom for the full year. I’m also expecting my second baby! 2022 was getting to know me as my new role in being a mom. Little one and I really didn’t do much except learn life together and I loved it. But this year, I want to work on pulling the best parts of me as who I have been and mix it up with who I’m becoming. So I made a challenge for myself to experience 23 adventures with my little family. Some will be done (and already done) without our new coming boy and my husband is fine with skipping some but all will be done 100% with me and my little girl. Some are big, some are little ideas but the idea is to make our year count.
✓ 1 International trip
✓ 2 Beach
✓ 3 Disney
◦ 4 Ren fair
✓ 5 plane ride
◦ 6 Everglades
◦ 7 Biscayne
◦ 8 NASA
◦ 9 make a garden
✓ 10 aquarium
◦ 11 museum
◦ 12 city walk or universal
◦ 13 fall festival
◦ 14 farm
◦ 15 pumpkin patch
◦ 16 sports game (I mean maybe)
✓ 17 fair
✓ 18 boat ride
◦ 19 splash/water park
◦ 20 springs
◦ 21 see a live show
◦ 22 safari
◦ 23 road trip
Look at everything we’ve already done! I’m looking forward to getting to do all these amazing things with my family and I encourage you, especially if you’re a new parent, find something to do every now and again to bring some joy and rejuvenation.
Let me say before you really get into everything I’m going to write about, I am a very experienced cruiser. My husband is less so but has only been on top of the line ships with me. For someone’s first cruise, it probably wouldn’t be as bad for you. This cruise offers plenty of discounts for sailing as well as lower rates than the more well known ships.
When I saw that Margaritaville was going to open a little cruise line, I laughed and thought, “what does Jimmy Buffet know about owning a cruise ship?” I then saw they offer a “heroes sail free” deal which allows military, first responders, and teachers to sail for “free” in an inside cabin with only a $25 upgrade to an ocean view room. We did do the upgrade for the window just to make sure we didn’t feel any sickness or trapped since we’ve never done an inside cabin.
Starting with the port, I received a few emails (truly not many which made me a little nervous) about our upcoming voyage and what to expect. The emails stated that valet was available for $22 a day BUT not that it was required. There was in fact no self parking and we had to use the valet services (in theory that’s ok, but it would have been nice to know that before). At check in, there were 20 windows available but ten or less were actually operational. This made the check in process very long and disorganized. If you plan on taking this cruise, I would highly suggest paying for the express check in to avoid that mess. One thing about this line is that they don’t have an app or an online account for you to create. You can’t add your photo or documents ahead of time to save yourself some time at check in. Our check in person also didn’t add in the detail of my husbands green card extension in the system so before the ship launched, we had to disembark and go back to check in for them to make a note that he was in fact legally allowed to be in the USA as well as sail.
Moving on to the stateroom, I found it to be well decorated and on theme and I felt it was more spacious than other ships I’ve been on which I loved! The bathroom was quite small as all ships are and the shower didn’t have a door but only a curtain. For me, I didn’t really care but my husband was not really happy with that so I felt it was worth mentioning. This is an older ship, refurbished from an old cruise line. That’s not really a problem but with some aspects you could tell she was a bit aged.
There are plenty of on board activities such as one show a night (same show both nights), meeting the Margaritaville mascot parrot, casino, pool, spa, kids activity center, piano bar and comedy club. Unfortunately, we got to experience just about zero of these activities because we became incredibly sick on night one. We only caught some of the show because we left early due to it being incredibly cheesy. The actors were talented, could sing and dance but the story and all of that involved was cheesy and we just wanted to eat and get back to the room to sleep. The show was definitely on theme with Margaritaville so as long as you’re buying into everything, you’ll enjoy it.
Now the most important aspect of a cruise (other than safety), the food. The food was 100% unsatisfactory. The ice machines in the buffet were almost always broken, which is a lot for only 48 hours on a cruise. The food tasted cheap and of poor quality plus, it really just didn’t taste good. This statement is unfortunately true for both the buffet and fine dining room. The pizza was alright and the ice cream machine was good. As I mentioned, we were sick the whole first night. Without getting too much into detail, I was so exhausted from being up all night, I stayed the entire next day not enjoying the Bahamas but in bed. I honest to God was afraid to eat the food after the first day’s experience. Was it a “24 hour” flu or food poisoning? No idea but I won’t try this cruise again to find out. To add the cherry on top, the morning we were leaving, we were getting breakfast at the buffet, my husband got a cup of coffee and when he sat down, he noticed it had lip stick marks on the cup!!! And there was gum on the side of the table. That isn’t cruise quality to me at all.
The one thing I can truly say about the cruise that met cruise standards was the staff. Everyone was kind and helpful, they did their jobs very well and have absolutely nothing to do with everything mentioned (other than the cup cleaning).
I wish I could say this was better than it was but I’d say this cruise was a 3 out of 10. I gave it a shot but we are 100% only sticking to the major cruise lines in the future. Our motto was pretty much “this is why we don’t try new things” after this “vacation”.
I very much hope you all get to travel and have a safe, happy, and healthy 2023. Enjoy the journey.
We all have our own little things we like to do when we think about what positive ways we can impact the environment. Some people recycle and that’s where it stops as far as protection for this big beautiful rock we call home. Then we have people that compost, crunchy moms that cloth diaper, people who live off the land to do their part in reducing their carbon footprint. All of these routines are awesome and I personally look for ways to do better all the time.
But on this Earth Day I want to talk to you about my favorite branch of government: The National Park Service. Our country often has so much hate fueling speech and social media. Divisions between the people and actions of those in power are often humiliating when we think of how other countries must view us. But despite all of the nasty politics, we have gorgeous national parks. We have parks in almost every state and many states have multiple. The diversity of the parks is amazing from swamps to glaciers, from naturally made canyons to man made structures, we have so much to see. I don’t know if I’ll ever make it to each national park. I highly doubt I will because some of these places are legitimately difficult to get to but I owe it to myself to cross as many off the bucket list as I can.
My husband and I started working on our travel adventures even before we were married and we have continued to work to get to amazing places ever since. 2021 was an amazing travel year for us. We visited Texas, Tennessee, California, Utah, Nevada, and Alaska. We knew we wanted to go far and wide because our goal was to get pregnant and start a family which we have successfully done as we now have a beautiful baby girl who will be turning two months old this weekend.
My whole point: go visit a national park, get the annual pass to visit as many as you can for a year, follow the nps on Instagram- do something about living in a beautiful country. Whenever you visit a park, the admission fee goes to preserving the park and maintenance. If you do get the annual pass, it does go to the same budget and you’ll have access to every park for a year. The going rate for a pass is $80. However for seniors, active military, and fourth graders there are discounts or free passes!
Make your bucket list and get out there. Explore, love, and appreciate Earth.
I have had a rough week and it is literally only Tuesday. Anyone else have those kind of weeks? Everyone has them once in a while, work stress, failing tests, break ups, friends are acting unfriendly, many things can go wrong just two days into the work week. I’ve had an off two months almost. Not bad just off. But I really just want to focus on today.
Today: I found out that I am no longer a candidate for my dream job.
I’ve been looking for a job for a while now. I’ve been praying, my family has been praying, my friends have been praying, I’ve even had a healing Pentecostal pastor from another country pray over me (which was great). Everyone tells me that God has promised to take care of me. Everyone tells me God has something prepared so marvelous for me. And I know. I really know that and believe that…but I’m hurting.
Until today I refused to get discouraged over rejections from the thousands of jobs I’ve applied to. I’ve been qualified, overqualified, and under-qualified and I received zero chances. So after seeing that I was no longer a candidate that I fully believed I would have gotten, I cried for a long time. I prayed for a long time telling God that I am so weary and I am so ready for my promise. After that, I counted my blessings. Every single thing I’m grateful for I said out loud and I finally stopped crying.
I think I’ve been hurting so much because this job would be making a difference in people’s lives. I am so desperate to help people. I don’t want to sit in an office crunching numbers, making sales calls, negotiating contracts. I want to help people so badly. I fought with myself a lot as a preschool teacher. I was always so tired, I didn’t make enough money, I worked three jobs, I was over qualified, and had more education than anyone that worked with me including the boss. But damn, I loved those children 99% of the time. Seeing them hit milestones was absolutely everything. While some people looked at me like a glorified babysitter and that I didn’t have a real job, some looked at me as a second mother to their child, someone they could trust fully and someone who gave them the opportunity to go back to school and work so they could create a better life for their family. It’s not hard being unemployed, I clean the house and play with my pets. But what is hard is knowing I intentionally got the specific degrees I did because I want to help people and that it’s not really happening.
For anyone who’s a praying person, I would love extra prayers in my job search. I’m attempting to find my dream job in the greatest city in the States, Orlando Florida.
Truth bomb Tuesday will come back next week with round 2.
Put your dukes up, journey. I’m ready for ya.
I’m looking at marriage a lot different today than I did less than 24 hours ago. I am absolutely shaken to my core that I can feel so much for another person. A scary thought for the future is that I know the feeling is multiplied with children. I have gone through different phases of how I act in relationships over the years. For example, my husband would always joke that I was the ice queen and during the first few months of our relationship, my heart was slowly thawing out. He is a bit dramatic but not entirely wrong on this one.
Last month we celebrated our first wedding anniversary. Cheers to us! I loved him so much on that day, before, after, but today is a totally new day. Yesterday my husband suffered a severe allergic reaction, to what is still a mystery and that’s a very large scary bit to all of this. I have seen allergic reactions multiple times from him as he is allergic to shellfish but loves to bend the thought of him not being allergic ever so often. But he was not to blame for yesterday. I wouldn’t say he was 100% unconscious but something like 98%. When I tried to talk to him at one point saying his name and him being completely unresponsive, I panicked a little. I said his name once more, and nothing. And just like the movies when the character shakes the person they love who has been killed by the antagonist, I physically with two hands picked up his heavy head and begged him to open his eyes and look at the medics as they arrived.
This all happened at about 12pm. I was overall calm but answering questions for paperwork about my husband as he could not brought tears to my eyes and a quivering lip. It wasn’t until 9pm when I cried. We were home for hours, he had food in his system, taken a nap (even though I looked like a new mother consistently checking on him like a new-born seeing the breathing from his chest and placing my finger under his nose to be sure), I kept the family informed and myself busy. Finally, I was done. I thought about if we went with what our original plan was for the day, the what ifs, and I can honestly say I depend on my husband. I have always thought of myself as strong and independent because my mom has been the most incredible role model for me and I strive to be like her in many ways. The IF something happened today and I would be alone without my husband tonight, I’d be done. On the way to the hospital I thought about every disagreement, the last time I kissed him, literally everything. It makes me want to fast track our have kids in five years plan to, let’s just save a little more and go for it because I don’t want us to end with one of us. I like us. I love us. And I want more of us. So if you see me traveling like a maniac, working 6 jobs, and buying a house ASAP, it’s baby time.
But right now, it’s just us.
And I love us.
I’m taking our lifestyle in a very new and positive direction. I’ll be talking about the changes as they come as I would like to make a lot of them like a whole new diet, the products we buy, and our activities.
I’ve been involved in a lot of conversations in the past few weeks with different people all around my age with very different relationship goals and it just kinda got me thinking..
There are exceptions to every rule like you should have your life more or less together, you should be together for a certain amount of time etc. but social media shows how amazing weddings can be not how amazing or testing a marriage can be. Only realizing it a few weeks ago how I will never fall in love with anyone else ever again was the strangest feeling. When you’re in a relationship, you shouldn’t rush the fall, it’s the fun before you guys find your comfort zone of being “us” instead of “you and I”. You also can’t always assume you’re an exception. Like constatnly saying “oh that will never happen to us, we’re perfect”, are you convincing us or yourself? If my husband was the same age as me (23) that wedding would have been hella postponed from now. A man at 32 is a lot different from a man at 23. I’m sure I’d still love him but 25 is probably the youngest a guy should get married. Girls can be just as wild and need to get it all out like boys do but not usually as much. Again- exceptions to every rule. The amount of “all in” you BOTH have to be is honestly immeasurable.
My husband is my hero. He’s my hero in basically every sense of the word. He’s constantly putting my needs before his and working on problems instead of letting them drown in the emotion ocean. He challenges me to work hard in every aspect of my life. He puts only God before me while encouraging and bettering the relationship I have with my King. He keeps my feet on ground and in reality without crushing my dreams of having all the dogs and cats I want. He lets me talk about everything he probably doesn’t care about but still shows me he cares by listening and letting me talk about my day. He doesn’t vengefully try to make me feel bad if I made him feel bad previously. He’s been in a full on prince costume, been stranded at home so I could have the car for work, laughed so hard with and at me that we both cry and shows me he’s committed everyday. Relationships are full of choices. You have to choose to love even when he’s loudly baa’ing at sheep from the car and you think you could rip your own ears off because he’s at the moment the most annoying ever. Funny but annoying as stealing your leftovers for lunch.
What’s your point Jojo? No matter if you’re in dire desire of the big commitment or you’re iffy about the future because of the past; focus on the present. Pressuring your significant other to commit with rings and marriage is scary and a recipe for your partner to not be a partner. A team is a team and you have to work together.
Good luck from this damsel (no distress) and her hero,
As I mentioned before, my newly wedded husband and I got this crazy idea to travel to New York from Pensacola. Literally out of the blue. I have some family that live on Long Island and they are preparing to move farther north so the idea was, let’s drive up to them before they move a few hours farther. Still crazy. So with about one week’s notice to my family, my job, making sure the car was ready for this, pet sitter, and road trip planning we took off. Here’s how we did it if anyone is interested in trying this out.
From Pensacola we drove to Birmingham Alabama for some lunch and to stretch our legs. We went to Vulcan Park which was super cool. It houses the largest cast iron statue in the United States. It is also on top of a mountain so you get a stellar view of the city. This is free to do. If you’re interested in touring the little museum and going up the the platform of the statue it’s $6. For lunch we ate locally. And it was amazing. The Urban Cookhouse is immensely delicious and I might travel to Alabama for that food alone.
Moving along we got into beautiful Tennessee. We stopped in Knoxville for a quick photo of the sun sphere. The sun sphere is actually free to go up but we just missed its closing (9:30pm everyone, don’t be late). It was nice to see anyway. We continued on to Roanoke Virginia where we got a hotel for the night, the last hotel room in the city somehow…
We left just after 9am so we could make it to New York City in time for our 8pm show. The drive was 8 hours to the hotel but with NY traffic, taking the train from our station to Times Square and finding a restaurant where we could eat super quick we made it literally just in time. Our first night there we saw Phantom of the Opera. Now I grew up around theater so I will always appreciate and love these shows. The hubs is new to all this. I got him tickets to see Mama Mia this year and he loved it luckily! He also got a little more experience on our cruise with the shows on board. But phantom on broadway is the most real deal that you can get. Despite driving roughly 9 hours and being constantly moving since 9am he loved it. I highly suggest a broadway show for anyone who can afford it. If you buy at least a few days in advanced you can get them as low as $30. Anastiasia is next on my list! After the show we just walked around time square, got a delicious cheesecake from Juniors and headed back.
Our full day in NY was non stop. We went over to the Statue of Liberty first (looking from afar for this trip. In that area Wall Street and the Bull are in walking distance. No. I didn’t touch that bull’s balls. We then made our way to Ground Zero. Let me just say, I didn’t lose anyone I know in 9/11 but it was a truly impactful day in our country. I was in the twin towers a month before they went down. No one could have imagined that was going to happen so I feel fully blessed I saw them when I did. This was the first time in that area since I was up there. Ground zero is a beautiful memorial, one of the most beautiful that I have ever seen. Our photo took a long time to take just because my smile was the most fake I’d ever had and it just looked like I was in pain. It felt really weird taking a selfie there but it was gorgeous. The museum is right next to it and is roughly $20 to enter. The student discount is $17.50 to enter. We then made our way to Central Park. We walked through to the Museum of Natural History. They have a “pay what you want” option so you can pay however much you like to enter but I’ll go ahead and say it, be respectful, don’t be a jerk. Spend a few dollars. Not a coin.
Tired as we were we kept moving. Rafa’s big thing he wanted to do was go to Top of the rock, which is a top of Rockefeller center. It’s $35 to get in but it’s a great view. Truly it is. My main advice is to go early enough where it’s day light so you can get nice photos but late enough where you can wait for it to get dark so you see the city light up. We were there from 6:30-9:30. Got our money’s worth at least! We didn’t know but you can bring food up so if you’re going to spend awhile take a snack. After that, we made our way to Grand Central for some photos and to see the beauty. It’s free to go so why not! After that we went to Times Square for a late dinner then back home.
The next morning we were off again. We stopped in Philadelphia to check out the Liberty Bell, independence hall, and the rocky steps. There’s a lot more to do but we wanted to hit the road because he was so excited to go to Washington D.C.
Arriving at night in Washington we went to the Lincoln memorial. He’s so impressive and at night the whole monument is lit up which is absolutely amazing. If you’re gonna see something at night I suggest Lincoln.
The next morning we took up close photos of the Washington memorial, White House and visited the national archives. By 12:30 we were on the road again.
I have family in Atlanta so we stayed two nights to rest longer and relax before making our last 5 hour journey back. Basically the first entire month of marriage we were traveling and tending to our relationship to keep us in the honeymoon for as long as we can be.
So far so good!
I hope you all have or find someone to be adventurous with.
July 1st started an excellent adventure for the rest of my life. I became a Mrs., Marrying the most excellent man my eyes have ever found. July 2nd started a literal adventure for our honeymoon. When we were first engaged we searched for the opportunity to go to Hawaii. My husband, being from Brazil, has a strong interest in seeing all of the United States and we’re beach people. Hawaii flights were expensive and then the idea of adding food and hotel and rental car and bill after bill we decided to go in a different direction. While expensive, it’s basically all inclusive so we chose a cruise. Our cruise departed from Fort Lauderdale Fl, we got married 4 hours north of that in beautiful palm coast. Coveinent and who doesn’t love a cruise?
Stop 1 Haiti
The private island of royal Caribbean is basically a beach day but it’s the most beautiful beach day you can imagine. You’re surrounded by lush green mountains atop blue green clear water. Gorgeous in every way basically. They have a massive zip line but it’s $100 so we skipped. For $30 (just under 30 I think) they have a “roller coaster ” it’s a little car on a track that can fit 1-2 people. You go wayyyyy up and then you zig zag down. You control the speed so when you come out of the trees you can catch glimpses of the ship, the sea, the beach, the beauty. We loved it! I drove so he could video the whole ride. Youtbe channel coming. Overall, totally worth it. The views were amazing and it was super fun being a coaster and what not.
Stop 2 Jamaica
We did an all day excursion because I wanted Rafa to have the best time possible since it was our honeymoon. So the tour was two parts. First we went to Dunns river falls. It’s a 600 foot waterfall of freezing fun. I will always recommend the falls. We then went tubing. They have multiple places to tube so I have no idea what river we were on. But it was a lazy river with a few Rapids for some fun. Exactly what I was looking for.
Stop 3 Mexico
Again we doubled up, we went to the Mayan ruins, something he really wanted to do. Which was incredible. We hiked up the 126 step pyramid with an amazing view of all the tree tops. Following the Coba we went to the senote which is basically an underground sink hole with beautiful and freezing water. It was roughly 80 steps down a spiral staircase leading to this awesome spot. It was great with the GoPro and just an overall beautiful place.
Ps we got to see a celebrity! Derrell from the office! It was such a funny and unique experience.
After arriving back in Fort Lauderdale we drove down to Miami and stayed the night. You can read all about our Miami adventure here. It has all the best places to go and eat.
Extending our honeymoon even more we drove the keys. We went all the way to Key West, to eat, walk Duval street, swim at the beach, and drove back to KeyLargo to stay the night. If you want to spend some time in Key West or key largo take a look at future posts that I have coming to the public eye.
So while I advocate for travel constantly and gave you some great ideas of what to do at these particular cruise ports (blog on cruises coming soon) this is more about our honeymoon. Being a newlywed is something you don’t have except just once in your life. I have only just recently come to the realization that I’m not going to fall in love with anyone else ever again. It’s just us until the end which is amazing. The honeymoon happens after all the hype of the wedding and before the bills and reality set in. That’s why we went for an extended honeymoon. He didn’t have to rush back to school or work and I had coverage. We will literally never have less career responsibility than we do right now so we’re taking advantage of our freedom. Which is how we came up with the crazy idea to go on a cross country (vertically) road trip with only a week in between our honeymoon and this crazy road trip. Read about that adventure posting tomorrow!