Denver Travel Diary – 2018

Over the summer, my family and I took our first ever vacation! Now, we have done our fair share of traveling since the twins were born, but this was the first time ever for us to go on a trip that didn’t include visiting family. What a different experience it was! No obligatory visits and no one else’s time table, which for our families usually means waiting and waiting for other people.

We spent a long weekend in Breckenridge and Denver, Colorado, and I wanted to share with you some of the family-friendly things we did with our toddler twins. I hope you enjoy reading about our trip to Denver. Stay tuned next week for a look at what we did in Breckenridge.

Things to Do

We visited Denver over the last weekend of July, so the weather was warm and sunny the whole time we were there.

Downtown Aquarium

The Downtown Aquarium is a great place to spend a day with the whole family. The boys absolutely love animals, so they were very interested in seeing everything this aquarium has to offer.

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Downtown Aquarium – Denver

The aquarium boasts over a million gallons of underwater exhibits, containing over 500 species of animals.  In addition to the aquarium, the complex has a Stingray touch pool, restaurant, and activities including face painting, a carousel and theatre.

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Arvada Center for the Arts and Humanities

Hubby and I visited the Arvada Center for the Arts and Humanities on our first visit to Denver, back when we were still dating. We absolutely loved it, and when we were planning out this trip, it was one of the first things that came to mind when we were thinking of things to do with the children.

Inside the Main Gallery

The Arvada Center is located in the city of Arvada, which is about 20 minutes northwest of Downtown Denver. The Center’s facilities include art galleries, classrooms, theatres,  an outdoor amphitheatre, and sculpture gardens.

After checking out the galleries, we spent the rest of our visit in the outdoor sculpture gardens. They were so fun for the boys to run around it, and for older kids, there are tons of opportunities for them to climb!

Squiggles, Interactive Sculpture Garden – Bill Gian
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Arvada Center Outdoor Sculpture Garden

16th Street Mall

Our hotel was located a few blocks from the 16th Street Mall, so we wound up spending quite a bit of time walking around the area. The Mall is mile long pedestrian and transit promenade in the middle of Downtown. Free shuttle buses go up and down the mall. We didn’t take advantage of it since we liked to walk.

The mall has tons of restaurants and shops, as well as movie theaters.

One of the landmarks on the 16th Street Mall is the D&F Tower. The tower is a two-thirds replica of the Campanile of St. Mark’s in Venice, Italy and was the highest building west of the Mississippi when it was built in 1909.

D&F Tower

One of my favorite things about the 16th Street Mall was the public art in the alleyways.


Meow Wolf at Next Stage Gallery

Meow Wolf was basically one of the best things happening in New Mexico when I was living there. I found out that Meow Wolf was collaborating on a temporary exhibit, called Special Guest at the Next Stage Gallery, which was within walking distance of our hotel! I immediately added this to our itinerary.


I loved that the kids got to interact with the exhibits and explore in a safe, fun and creative environment.

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Meow Wolf is currently preparing to open a permanent space in Denver sometime in 2020. For more information, visit them online.  Until then, Special Guest will be running until the end of this year.

City Park

After arriving in Denver, getting our luggage, getting our rental car and eating, the boys really needed to have a chance to run around since we were immediately continuing on to Breckenridge. We stopped by City Park in Downtown and played in some of there beautiful open fields.

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City Park

They had a run of the place and had a lot of fun. The park was surprisingly clean for an urban park.

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City Park – Denver


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View from our room at the Hyatt Place Denver Downtown

For this trip, we made our home at the Hyatt Place Denver Downtown. This is a great option for families because of the central location, amenities and moderate price.

We loved how convenient the location was. This hotel has great freeway access and is within walking distance of the 16th Street Mall. We were playing it pretty easy this trip so we did not mind that the majority of eateries along the 16th Street Mall are national chains. We just wanted convenience since we were traveling with the twins and another family as well.

Pros: indoor pool, fitness center, high quality hot breakfast buffet included with your stay, free wifi, location, clean. Our room also had a nice view of Downtown Denver, which the boys loved.

Cons: Parking fee. Pack n Plays provided, instead of cribs.

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Enjoying the view!

I hope you enjoyed reading about our trip to Denver. Let me know if you have any favorite things to do in Denver with kids! Our stay was so short that we weren’t able to even scratch the surface!

Tips for Visiting Disneyland with Twin Toddlers

We recently had the chance to visit Disneyland in Anaheim, California as invited audience members for the 2018 Disney Parks Holiday Special tapings. I wanted to share my thoughts on things we did to make our visit to Disneyland with twin toddlers enjoyable. While we spent the majority of our time waiting for and attending the taping, I still think many of our experiences could be helpful for a variety of situations.

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Visiting with Mickey Mouse
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Cameraman set up for filming on Main Street

Tip 1: Stay overnight

Since we live an hour-plus away from Anaheim and we were visiting on a weekday, we decided to stay overnight in Anaheim the night before our visit to Disneyland. The great thing about Disneyland, compared to Walt Disney World, is that there are a ton of hotels that you can stay at that are within walking distance to the park entrance. This time we stayed at the Fairfield Inn Anaheim Resort, which is a 6-minute walk from Disneyland (no joke)! Another great thing about staying off property was that we were able to leave our car there even after check-out time, we just had to pay the parking fee for an additional day, which was less expensive than Disney parking.

Tip 2: Get to the park early

Disneyland has added additional security measures in recent years, which makes getting into the park a little more time consuming. My recommendation is to get there early. If your toddlers are like mine, they are up and ready to go around 7 AM! You never know how long getting through security and the gate will take, so get there early and start your day of magic!

Checking in for Disneyland

Tip 3: Take advantage of the Baby Care Center

The Baby Care Center is located on Main Street and has so many amenities for parents with infants to toddlers, including high chairs, toddler potties, changing tables and nursing rooms.

Tip 4: Get Fastpasses

Unfortunately, Disney does not offer Fastpasses for the majority of the little kid-friendly rides in Fantasyland. Making our kiddos wait in lines for at least 45-minutes sounded like torture for all of us, so we took advantage of one of the rides that did offer Fastpasses. We got Fastpasses for “it’s a small world” Holiday, and it was so worth it!

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“it’s a small world” Holiday

I love “it’s a small world,” but it is honestly one of my favorites during the holidays.



For a current list of rides offering Fastpasses, check here.

Tip 5: Pack you own food

We didn’t have the chance to plan or meal prep for this visit to Disneyland, but hopefully, we can next time. While there are some good food options at Disneyland, when you are desperate to find food for your hangry toddlers, you might find yourself in long lines for mediocre and extremly pricey food!

Tip 6: Keep the kiddos occupied

Mickey’s Toontown is a no-brainer for letting your high-energy toddlers run around and have fun! There are lots of places where they can explore hands-on.

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Mickey’s ToonTown

My sons loved Goofy’s Playhouse. Goofy’s backyard has a toddler play area with a slide and play structures, including a giant watermelon and pumpkin! Goofy even came by to visit with guests while we were there!

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Goofy’s House

Tip 7: Make memories

I discovered that the memories you make are not necessarily the ones that you expect. My husband was very adamant about having our sons participate in character greetings, while I was thinking, they will never remember this! Little did I know, that meeting Mickey and Goofy were their favorite events of the day! Plus, we will forever have these photos of them!

Hanging out with Goofy

Waiting for the parade was rough because we had over an hour before the thing actually started. There was a lot of juggling kids, getting up and walking around, and generally trying to get through it! Once the parade finally started, they loved it for the first 30 minutes or so, but little brother wound up falling asleep in my arms!

Waiting for the parade
Disneyland Christmas Parade

The parade was probably a little bit of sensory overload for them, but it is certainly something hubby and I will remember!

Tip 8: Keep your expectations reasonable and be flexible

We kept our expectations low for our trip to Disneyland. We just wanted to see the parade and go on maybe one or two rides, and make it home at a reasonable time. This was very doable for us and we did not feel the need to “do everything.”

Main Street Christmas Tree

I hope these tips help you if you plan on making a trip to Disneyland! The Disney Parks Magical Christmas Day Parade will be airing on Christmas Day: Tuesday, December 25, 2018 (10:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m. EST, 9:00-11:00 a.m. CST/MST/PST). We will be watching to see if we see ourselves!

Moms Meet WOW Summit 2018 – Blogger Day Recap

Welcome to WOW Summit!
Welcome to WOW Summit!

Earlier this month, I attended my first ever Moms Meet’s WOW Summit Blogger Day. I decided to attend the summit for a number of reasons, including the location. The Summit was being held at the Hyatt Regency Orange County in Garden Grove, California, which is about an hour away from us. I also found this event to be smaller than other mom blogger events, which I thought would be beneficial, and finally, I have been working with Moms Meet for about almost a year now, and I love working with them!

Moms Meet focuses on “better-for-you” products, which I am all about!

Arrival and Registration

I headed up to Orange County just as the event was starting, as I had to wait for my nanny’s shift to begin. Hubby would be in charge of the kiddos for the rest of the weekend while I spent the weekend away.

I got to the site just before 10 AM and headed straight to registration to pick up my badge.

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Who’s a blogger?

Speakers and Workshops

Despite my late arrival, I was able to attend the majority of the sessions that I was interested in. So many women were there to share their knowledge and experience with other women. That is community over competition!

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Mastering the Media Kit session from Saarah Samadani of
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Balancing Romance and Motherhood Panel

In addition to the speakers, there were four different workshop sessions to attend. I loved that the conference repeated the same workshops twice so that you could attend two different workshops!


There were several breaks during the day to eat and network. Table 5 Pizza hosted the Blogger Lunch and Alove yogurt and NestFresh eggs hosted the afternoon tea and coffee break.

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Table 5 Pizza Blogger Lunch
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Alove Yogurt and deviled eggs from NestFresh

Exhibit Hall

The daytime activities were rounded out with time to visit the exhibit hall. This is one of my favorite parts of these types of conferences because I love learning about new products and brands.

Many of the brands that I had previously worked with for MomsMeet were represented, like PlusCBD Oil and Malaysian Palm Oil.

I also learned about many other brands such as Sambucol, Wild Planet, Good Catch and Hippo Sak. One of my favorite products that I learned about though is OCHO Candy. OMG their chocolate bars are addictive!


I got to sample products, talk to brands, network and take products home with me!

Goodies and Gift Bag

Now, let’s talk about goodies! This first picture is just the goodies I got from walking the exhibit hall. Before leaving the conference, I also picked up my WOW Summit gift bag which was loaded with products as well.


Seriously, these blogger conferences are the only places I go where I arrive with 3 bags and leave with 6 bags!

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Goodbye, WOW Summit!


WOW Summit Blogger Day was so educational both in terms of learning the blogger business and learning about new-to-me brands and products!

Next year’s Moms Meet WOW Summit will be held on September 27 and 28, 2019 in Arlington, Texas. For more information, visit

To read my previous Moms Meet reviews, visit:


A Rainy Visit to the State Fair of Texas and Frisco, Texas

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Big Tex at the State Fair of Texas

Last weekend, we headed to Dallas to visit my sister, brother-in-law and their two pups. My sister lives in the bedroom community of Frisco, Texas, which is part of the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex. Frisco was the fastest growing US city in 2017 and has grown a huge amount ever since she moved there about 10 years ago. Notably, the Dallas Cowboys moved their headquarters and training facilities to Frisco in 2016.

To be honest, the weather was horrible the entire time we were there. We are so spoiled in San Diego. It was raining on and off the whole weekend, so we had to time our activities during less rainy times or find indoor activities to keep us occupied.

State Fair of Texas

On Friday, we headed to Fair Park to attend the State Fair of Texas. The fair has taken place annually since 1886, except for some breaks during the First and Second World Wars. Over 2 million people attend every year, and it is considered one of the most attended and best state fairs in the country.

I have attended the fair numerous times in the past as a child and visiting my sister and always have a fun time.

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The Champ at the State Fair of Texas

Attending the fair with the boys was slightly different than what we are used to. We spent a greater amount of time visiting the animals and doing a couple of kids’ activities.

We started off our day at the Home on the Range exhibit, where we could feed and pet different animals, including cows, donkeys, goats and pigs.

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Home on the Range Petting Barn
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Home on the Range Petting Bar
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Goats at the Petting Barn
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Feeding the goats
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Exhausted mom with her piglets

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Next, we took the boys to the Little Hands on the Farm activity. They each got to put on an apron and get a basket to act as little farmers! It was seriously the cutest thing!

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Little Hands on the Farm

The twins collected different produce, eggs and milk and then took them to the market to sell their products. The boys like to collect things, so they had a blast doing the tasks.

Little Hands on the Farm
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Little Hands on the Farm

One of the highlights of the fair is, of course, eating insane fair food. New this year was the “Cotton Candy Taco,” which I did not partake in but did take a photo next to the replica of it!

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Cotton Candy Taco

Every time I visit the State Fair of Texas, I have to have a Fletcher’s Corny Dog. This baby was first sold at the fair in 1942 and claim, as others do, to have been the original corn dog. I don’t know who was the first, but Fletcher’s is delicious!

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Fletcher’s Original Corny Dog

Another of my must-do activities at the fair is seeing the butter sculpture and the Creative Arts Building. This year’s butter sculpture featured Big Tex’s head and was made from 1,000 pounds of butter!

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Butter Sculpture of Big Tex

I love looking at the crafts and food items that regular folks create and submit for the Creative Arts contests. There is so much talent and so much to look at!

It was getting pretty late in the day and Dallas traffic is the pits, so we made our final stop at the Midway to check out the games and rides.

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A section of the Midway is referred to as the Kidway, where there are rides for the little ones. The twins were too small to ride the majority of the rides, but we found a little whale ride to go on with them. They tolerated it, but did not enjoy the ride!

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Ride in the Kidway

Little Humans Big Fun

On Day 2 of our visit, we stuck to things that were in Frisco since it was supposed to rain all day long. We started the day off at Little Humans Big Fun. Although they are only open from 9 AM to 10:30 AM, it was definitely worth the $24 that we spent. The twins loved every minute of their time there. That is, except for when little brother got pushed by a mean girl and started to cry.

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Grocery store play area

There was a good variety of things for them to do. They were especially obsessed with the grocery store and shopping carts.

Giant Lite Brite
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Auto shop play area

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For parents, there is no admission charge. I seriously do not understand why other places, like the Children’s Museum, charge admission for adults. It makes no sense. Additionally, Little Humans Big Fun also provides free coffee and espresso drinks, tea and wifi!

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Foam building blocks

Sci-Tech Discovery Center

We stayed until Little Humans Big Fun closed and decided to head to the Sci-Tech Discovery Center next. Had it not been raining, we would have done a different activity, but our options were limited. I read some pretty unimpressive reviews before we went to the Discovery Center and was not expecting much.

Honestly, it was not that great, but did keep the boys occupied for a good hour or so before we went to lunch.

They loved the bubbles, fire show, and ball drops!

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Having fun with auntie!
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This looks like a good place to sit!

Bye, Auntie and Uncle

I am so happy that we got to visit my sister and brother-in-law, especially while we were able to still take advantage of the twins’ lap child status for our flights! We don’t get to see them that often, so it was nice spending a whole weekend together!

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And of course, we also loved seeing Waffles the Corgi and his sister Cinnabon the Chowgi!


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Waffles the Corgi
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Cinnabon the Chowgi


Visiting the Crayola Experience with Toddlers

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While visiting family in Pennsylvania recently, we decided to spend a rainy day at the Crayola Experience in Easton, Pennsylvania.

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The complex is huge with so much to do for little ones and younger elementary-aged children. I would say older elementary-aged children would not find it as amusing. Although we did not have time to explore the entire attraction and we skipped things that were not age-appropriate for my 15 month old twins, there was still plenty to do for the toddler-aged child.

Wrap It Up

Upon paying your admission fee, each guest is given a shopping bag and two tokens. One of the tokens can be used at Wrap It Up. Here, you can choose a Crayola crayon color and create a personalized label for it. Once your label is printed, you machine wrap it to create the perfect take home souvenir.


Toddler Town

We spent the majority of our time in Toddler Town. There were multiple activity cubes to play with.


But the reason why we stayed here so long and actually wound up coming back to Toddler Town a second time was because the twins were all about the giant Light Brite board. They could not get enough of it!



Rainbow Rain and Stomp & Play

These two attractions are fun digital interactive games. With Rainbow Rain, you can play in melting wax.


Stomp & Play lets you play games on a digital interactive floor. There was also an under the sea game on one of the walls.


Colossal Caddy

The Crayola Experience had a number of coloring stations with different pages you can choose from to color in.


Modeling Madness

With your second token, guests can visit the vending machines lining the room to choose from a variety of different colors of Crayola’s modeling compound.



Tables were set up with cookie cutters and other tools for you to mold and play with the modeling clay. The boys really enjoyed this attraction. Even just playing with the clay in their hands was great for their sensory development.

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Big Blue

Made from 123,000 blue crayons and weighing 1,500 lbs, Big Blue is the world’s largest crayon and worth stopping to admire.

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The Crayola Store

This gift shop is filled with adorable souvenirs. We took home a few t-shirts for the twins.


But my favorite thing at the shop was the amazing Pick Your Pack crayon display. Loved the rainbow of colors!

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There is so much more to do at the Crayola Experience. While we got our fill on these few things to do, once the boys are older, I would love to visit again and check out the other attractions and have more fun with my sons!

Celebrate the Holidays at Terranea Resort

If you’re thinking about taking a short trip during this holiday season, Terranea Resort has a calendar full of holiday events for the whole family. Located in beautiful Rancho Palos Verdes, Terranea feels a world away from the hustle and bustle of busy Los Angeles and the chaos of the holiday season.

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Celebration of the Season – Christmas Tree Lighting

Sunday, December 3, 2017 | 5 pm | Catalina Terrace
Complimentary with toy donation
Celebrate the start of the holiday season with Terranea’s annual Christmas tree lighting. There will be live music and entertainment and holiday crafts. Donations of unwrapped gifts for Toys for Tots will be accepted during the event.

Kickoff to Christmas with Mrs. Claus

Sunday, December 3, 2017 | 6 pm to 8 pm | Sea Beans
Complimentary; donations welcome
After the tree lighting ceremony, Mrs. Claus will be on hand to collect letters to share with Santa Claus. Stop by for popcorn and holiday cookie decorating as well.

Breakfast with Santa

Saturday, December 9, 2017 | Seatings: 9 am, 9:30 am, 10 am | Grand Ballroom
Adults $59, Children 2-10 $27, Children under 2 free
Join Santa for a memorable breakfast and photo opportunities. Breakfast includes bakery and waffle stations, beverage and hot food stations, as well as an egg station, kids buffet, festive crafts, and pictures with Santa.

Kids Club Holiday Gift Workshop

Daily in December | 2 pm to 4 pm | Grand Ballroom
Child $80 (ages 4 -12) – Advance reservations required
In this workshop, kids can make a gingerbread house, a cuddly creation, holiday crafts and decorations to give as gifts to family members and friends.

‘Twas the Night Before Christmas

Sunday, December 24, 2017 | 5 pm | Lobby Living Room
All ages | Complimentary for resort guests
Gather by the fire in Terranea’s Lobby Living Room for a special rendition of ‘Twas the Night before Christmas.

Postcards to the North Pole

December 1 to 24, 2017 | During Hours of Operation | Tide Pool Kids Club
Guests of all ages can fill out a personalized postcard to send off to Jolly Ole Saint Nick himself. You might even get a response back from Santa!

Elf Tuck-Ins

Nightly in December | 6 pm to 10 pm
Child $35 – Advance reservations required
Let one of Santa’s helpers send your sweet one off to bed. A special stocking is also included in the elves’ visit.

Christmas Eve and Christmas Day Feasts

Sunday, December 24 and Monday, December 25
See restaurants for details
Terranea Resort’s restaurants will feature a variety of Christmas Eve and Christmas Day feasts.
Christmas Eve Brunch Buffet at Catalina Kitchen – holiday favorites, carving station featuring turducken, local seafood, raw bar, chef’s specials, salad bar, charcuterie, cheese and desserts. 9 am to 2 pm; Adults $75, Children (ages 5-10) $35, Children under 5 free
Christmas Eve Dinner at Mar’sel – traditional three-course meal of holiday classics, a la carte menu also available. 5 pm to 10 pm; Adults $135, Children (ages 5-12) $30
Christmas Eve Dinner Buffet at Catalina Kitchen – holiday favorites, carving station, local seafood, chef’s specials, steakhouse accompaniments, raw bar, salad bar, charcuterie, cheese and desserts with live entertainment. 6 am to 9 pm; Adults $95, Children (ages 5-10) $35, Children under 5 free
Feliz Navidad at Nelson’s – enjoy the Mexican tradition of tamales three ways: green chile chicken tamale, beef tamale, and pumpkin tamale served with rice and beans with tres leches cake for dessert. Sunday, December 24, 2017 to Monday, December 25, 2017 11 am to 9 pm; $27
Christmas Dinner at Mar’sel – five-course meal of holiday classics, wine pairing and a la carte menu also available. 5 pm to 10 pm; Adults $155, Children (ages 5-12) $45
Other meals, in-room dining and meals-to-go also available – see resort for details

Things to Do in Las Vegas as a New Mom

Life with infants can be hectic to say the least. Life with twin infants is a daily struggle to get by. I realized out of the blue that I had a credit on Southwest Airlines that was going to expire by the end of the year. After a few text messages and phone calls, I was planning a trip to Las Vegas for the following weekend. Thank goodness we moved to Southern California. Otherwise, my credit would have gone to waste.

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With hubby, the kids and grandparents back home and my friend occupied for much of the weekend, I found myself going solo for about half of the weekend. This was a-okay by me since I have traveled a lot by myself throughout the years. I decided that this weekend would be a time to relax and get some rest and pamper myself with food and other treats. I also kept myself occupied by pumping throughout the day. Momma’s gotta bring back that liquid gold to the babes and keep up my milk supply!

Here are my top 5 picks for enjoying Las Vegas as a new mom without the kiddos

Bellagio Gardens and Fountain

On every trip I take to Las Vegas, I have to visit the Bellagio Conservatory & Botanical Gardens. Their displays are so impressive even by Vegas standards, and I love seeing what they come up for the different seasons. For Fall 2017, the theme was “Proud as a Peacock.”

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In addition to the main peacock display, there were two other displays featuring a willow tree and scarecrows and another with goblins.

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While at the Bellagio, watching at least one round of the Fountain show is a must-do for me. Yes, it is cheesy but I find the water mesmerizing and somehow romantic. I was actually able to catch shows while I was both getting to and leaving from the hotel.

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So beautiful at night!

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Having grown up as a Chinese-American in Southern California, I went to Las Vegas A LOT! Doing some of the things off the beaten path appeal to me. On our first night in Vegas, we took a late night tour of the Neon Museum, and by late night, it was super late night for a new mom! 11 PM! What?!

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I definitely recommend a night tour of the museum so that you can see all of the signs lit up in their intended glory.

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The tour also provided a ton of information about the history of Las Vegas. Although it was hard for me to pay attention with my distracted, foggy mommy brain!

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Eat All the Foods

As a new mom, it is not unusual for me to be eating sandwiches with cold cuts, microwaved yakisoba from Costco or bagels and cream cheese because there is just no time to even think about what you are going to eat. Let alone make a proper meal. Luckily, my mom is here to make many of my meals, but when you’re starving and home alone or it’s early in the morning, I make due.

I definitely indulged myself on this trip, which is so easy to do with all of the variety of foods, celebrity chef restaurants and buffets. I must say, though, that restaurants on The Strip are pricey!

My most memorable meals on this trip included an early solo dinner at Momofuku. It was still happy hour so I enjoyed my pork belly bun and ramen at the bar.

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When I go to Vegas, I have to eat at least one meal at one of the buffets on The Strip. The Bacchanal Buffet at Caesars Palace is one of my favorites, and it did not disappoint. It’s so hard to chose what to eat when you have limited stomach capacity! #firstworldproblems

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I had some more time to myself while the others went to a festival out in the desert, so I enjoyed a solo afternoon tea at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel. I was given a beautiful seat next to the window and since the Tea Lounge is located on the 23rd floor, I had a gorgeous view.

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The food and tea, ambiance and service made for a wonderful afternoon treat.

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Now, I have to point out a specific dish rather than an entire meal as this dish was so amazing. I am drooling thinking about it. The meatballs at Rao’s (also at Caesars Palace) are ridiculously delicious! Go eat them!

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Visit Red Rock Canyon

With all that eating and the fact that I have probably exercised four times since having my babies, getting out and going on a hike sounded wonderful. Red Rock Canyon is located only about half an hour from The Strip and is a great way to get outdoors and away from the craziness of Las Vegas.

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Unfortunately, we were running behind schedule and could only do the driving tour of Red Rock Canyon. Next time, I want to do one of the actual hikes. It is breathtaking. My phone camera does not do it justice at all!

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Spa Day

For a day of utter relaxation and tranquility, I visited one of The Strip’s many hotel spas, which also happened to be at the Bellagio. Like many of the other hotel spas, the Bellagio Salon and Spa offers day passes which allows for day use of their facilities even if you are not receiving a spa treatment. We received a $40 discounted day pass since we were staying at another MGM property. The girls and I spent the day using the sauna, steam room and Jacuzzis. I enjoyed their fresh fruit, coffee, juices and flavored waters. Also, the spa has everything you need to head to your next destination (showers, toiletries, hair styling products) so we were able to head straight to a show after our time at the spa! Unfortunately, I was either so relaxed or so tired from being a new mommy that I fell asleep at the show. Oops.

Being away from the kids for a few nights is hard and I probably wouldn’t have gone away if it were not for the fact that my airline ticket was expiring. I did feel refreshed and my mind felt clearer when I returned though. So if you feel ready to leave your kiddos at home, I say do it. It’s not for everyone, but all families work differently. I think it was a trip well taken!

Mom’s First Trip with Lewis N. Clark

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Lewis N. Clark. All opinions are my own.

As a first time mom and frequent traveler, preparing to go on my first trip as a mother was stressful and exciting. A few weeks ago I flew to Washington, DC for a couple of days to finish up my job. It was likely my final trip to DC for the foreseeable future.

The most stressful part of the trip was leaving my twins for the first time and also pumping for them for the duration of the trip. I also used the trip to test out a couple of products from Lewis N. Clark. This is the second project I have worked with Lewis N. Clark on. You can read about the first one here.

Since I knew I will not be heading back to DC any time soon, I took the opportunity to visit the National Mall for old time’s sake. When I was living in Arlington, VA and half marathon training, I would run from my apartment to the Mall many, many weekends during the winter for my long runs. It was truly something that I took for granted at the time and miss very much today. 
Lincoln Memorial

Reflecting Pool and Washington Monument

Secura RFID-Blocking Anti-Theft Satchel – $89.99
I used the Secura RFID-Blocking Anti-Theft Satchel as my main handbag during this trip. It was super helpful for use as my “personal item” on the plane but also as a handbag once I reached DC. I packed a second handbag that I did not wind up using because this bag was so much more roomy and functional.
The main features of the Secura satchel are its special RFID-blocking material that blocks unwanted scans of your personal information by identify thieves and its anti-theft protection. 
The anti-slash strap protects your bag from cutting and slashing by would-be pickpockets. The hardware can be used to lock the bag to stationary objects and to lock the bag’s main compartment as well as two outside pockets, a further deterrent for pickpockets. 
Additional features include an adjustable strap, water-resistant coating and lots of pockets to keep all of your things organized. 
I found the bag to be the perfect size to use during my trip, and I loved that I was able to keep things separated and organized in the numerous pockets. The security features also gave me peace of mind when out and about. The only complaint that I have about the Secura satchel is that it lacks a certain air of style. Even my husband commented that this is not a bag that I would normally carry due to its lack of style. 

Plaid Jewelry Roll – $19.99

I try to accessorize as much as is appropriate on my trips and have been in the habit of dumping all of my jewelry into a zippered pouch and calling it a day. Once I reach my destination, I often find my necklaces all tangled up and have a hard time finding matching earrings. 

I thought the plaid jewelry roll from Lewis N. Clark would make organizing my travel jewelry easier. My favorite features of the jewelry roll are the separate zip pockets for different pieces of jewelry. Although I did not use them for this trip because I actually didn’t wind up taking a ton of jewelry with me, the roll also has an earring strip that is perfect for studs and a ring holder.

Both products were great for my first trip as a new mom, and I have a feeling they will be in heavy rotation on future trips, if I ever get to leave the house again!

I received products from Lewis N. Clark for the purpose of this review. No compensation was provided for this post. All opinions are my own. Read my full disclosure here

Traveling Made Easier with Lewis N. Clark

For almost 20 years, Lewis N. Clark has been making travel and outdoor adventures more comfortable and secure through their wide-range of products. Their product line includes everything from comfort accessories like neck pillows and eye masks, outdoor gear such as dry bags and duffel bags and packing solutions.

On two of my recent trips, I got to test out some of Lewis N. Clark’s latest travel products.

RFID-Blocking Mini Cross-Body – $49.99

Lewis N. Clark offers a variety of travel bags, document organizers and wallets that make use of RFID-blocking technology. Unauthorized RFID signals can be transmitted without the victim being aware of the crime being committed and can lead to identify theft. 
I was so excited to try an RFID-blocking product after watching one too many news segments on electronic pickpocketing. The Lewis N. Clark RFID-blocking mini cross-body is roomy, has a ton of pockets and sets your mind at ease with its RFID-blocking features. 
The bag is compact but has so many pockets, making it easy to stay organized wherever you are going. The largest interior pocket has a zippered pocket, two cell phone slots and a key keeper. Plus, there are an additional three exterior pockets, including two on the flap and one on the back of the bag. 
The rear pocket contains RFID-protected card slots where you can keep your credit cards and ID cards away from RFID signals. 

Other features are an adjustable cross-body strap and soft, easy to clean fabric. The bag is a great size for all of my travel needs. I was able to comfortably fit my wallet, cell phone, sunglasses and camera into the largest pocket. This is a great bag that is both functional and gives you peace of mind!

ElectroLight Expandable Packing Cubes (2-pack) – $43.99 

As you all know, I travel frequently and rarely check luggage due to the fact that I have luggage separation anxiety and I lack patience. Packing cubes have really made packing for my frequent trips more organized and less stressful. 
While I have been using packing cubes for years now, I had never used expandable packing cubes before. The ElectroLight expandable packing cubes set from Lewis N. Clark features one large (12″ x 14.5″ x 2″ to 5″ expanded) and one medium (8.5″ x 11″ x 2″ to 5″ expanded) packing cube. The cubes themselves are super light and are made of a water- and stain-resistant fabric.
The cubes’ mesh panels provide visibility and allow your garments to breathe, so the cubes are not trapping any stinkiness inside of themselves. They also have handy carrying handles that are useful for moving them in and out of your luggage. 
The thing I wanted to test out the most was the expandable feature of the ElectroLight packing cubes. I love having the extra 3 inches of space as an option to use if I needed to. 
Here is a pile of clothing ready to be organized for a trip to California.

All of my garments fit comfortably inside the expandable packing cubes. I actually expanded the cubes while I was packing and then zipped them back up after putting all of my clothese inside. This is such a great feature because not only are the packing cubes expandable, but they are also compressible. I frequently like to purchase clothing during my trips as gifts and for myself, so having the peace of mind that I can fit more than I originally packed is very helpful for me.

As you can see the packed packing cubes fit with plenty of extra space in my hard side carry-on bag.

I loved testing out both of these products and can’t wait to take them with me on my next trip!

DisclosureI received products from Lewis N. Clark for the purpose of this review. No compensation was provided for this post. All opinions are my own. Read my full disclosure here

Meow Wolf’s “The House of Eternal Return” in Santa Fe, New Mexico

In 2016, no trip to Santa Fe is complete without a stop at Meow Wolf. Meow Wolf is an art collective based in Santa Fe. In March of this year, its permanent art complex opened in a former bowling alley, with help from George R. R. Martin (yes, that George R. R. Martin), the city of Santa Fe and a Kickstarter campaign.

I have had the good fortune to be able to visit twice this year. The first time was over Memorial Day weekend and the venue was so incredibly crowded that the experience was not ideal. My second visit was just a few weeks ago and the crowds were much more manageable.
Meow Wolf’s current exhibit is called “The House of Eternal Return,” and it is so hard to describe. I like to think of it as a fun house for kids of all ages. There is an actual house inside the art complex and as you go through each room, you can access other parts of the house or you can be swept away into a whole different place. 
Here I am about to step through the refrigerator. Where it leads no one knows! Okay, I do know, but I don’t want to give it away. 

On top of not knowing what is around the next corner, the exhibit is fun because many of the pieces are interactive.

This mastodon skeleton is musical, for example.

The other part is how colorful and whimsical the pieces are. Can you say sensory overload?

If you are making a trip to Santa Fe, make sure you take the time to visit Meow Wolf. There is nothing like it.