Red Sand Beach, Hana, Maui

As I’m lounging in bed this lovely Sunday morning, my kids playing as I’m gazing out the window at the gorgeous sunshine reflecting on the roof tops covered with snow it’s a good start to my day right? It would be except there’s SEVENTEEN inches of snow in my backyard and I begin asking myself what am I doing here?

I’ll be thinking warm thoughts the next few days and what better place to escape to than Hawaii (I’m OBSESSED) but since I have three littles I won’t be hopping on a plane any time soon so the next best thing is reliving our Maui escape four months ago.

This beach was one of our absolute FAVORITE. It’s not the typical beach where you think of miles of white sand instead it’s a small cove nestled between two ginormous cliffs.

Think paradise lost…well this is paradise found.

RED SAND BEACH was our last stop on our Road to Hana trip, this beach is off the beaten path. My heart is pounding and my palms sweating just thinking about the path we walked along the cliff, it’s definitely not for the faint at heart.

The first sight of the beach took your breath away. We couldn’t wait to make our way down the cliff! Everyone was heading out as we arrived. We probably should’ve turned around but we couldn’t resist the chance of experiencing this little little gem all to ourselves. Ah the feeling of a private beach, it was pretty awesome.

And then just like that we felt a few drops of rain as If the path wasn’t treacherous enough. With each step we litterally felt the night coming down upon us and we hurried back to safety, laughing like two kids as we made it to the car just in the nick of time before it started raining.

It was quite scary but DEFINITELY worth the trip!

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~TOODLES~
Stacey

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HAWAII Awaits..

ALOHA!

I’m beyond excited!!

In less than thirty days we will be in MAUI celebrating our 10th wedding anniversary. 😮 WOW. One decade in the books.

Two kids who met by chance, engaged seven months later, another seven months and we were married.  We’ve accomplished so much together from earning undergraduate and graduate degrees, to purchasing our first home before 30 to now raising three kids under three. It hasn’t always been easy, but it has absolutely been worth it! We’ve been blessed!!

MAUI awaits ….

I can’t wait to frolic on beautiful beaches, witness majestic sunrises and sunsets, but most importantly, spend TIME AWAY FROM THE KIDS. 😮 (our first trip since our oldest was born in 2012) Is it time to board yet? Just kidding….am I? 😉

Seven days in paradise.

So much to see, so much to do.

Here’s what’s currently on our list:

1. Drive to Hana

Upper Waikani Falls (Three Bears)
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2. Sunset sail
3. Pa’ako Beach
4. Mama’s Fish House
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5. Nakalele Blowhole
6. Waianapanapa National Park

Black Sand Beach
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7. Molokini Crater
8. Haleaka National Park
9. Kaihalulu (Red Sand Beach)

10. Hamoa Beach
11. Makena Big Beach
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12. Honolulu Bay

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I can’t wait to experience this wonderful island and create beautiful memories with my hubby.

If you’ve been to Maui or know anyone with good recommendations, please share this post. Thank you!

PS:- Photos from Instagram accounts MAUIHI and MAUIVISIT

~TOODLES~
Stacey

Hamptonians

Summer is unofficially-officially over! 🙊:'(

Am I the only one who is in denial this is happening? I REFUSE to accept that fall is almost here despite the leaves turning and fall fashion EVERYWHERE. Summer doesn’t officially-officially end until the 23rd so if you’re with me, let’s keep making summer memories. 🙂

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You’ve probably heard of the coveted Hamptons in upstate New York where celebrities flock to their lavish mansions from Memorial Day through Labor Day. They host grand parties, sun bathe on their yachts, and dine at the finest restaurants when not being served by a chef in the comfort of their swanky homes, of course. I wouldn’t mind experiencing a week of the lifestyle of the rich and famous, but don’t see that happening anytime soon.

Growing up in New Jersey, just three hours away (with the traffic-god on your side), I used to think the Hamptons was reserved for A-listers. Like, somehow a yacht or a private plane was required for entry and or acceptance. I DREAMED of visiting until last year when we celebrated one of my dear friend’s 30th birthday in Amagansett. I was almost 6 months pregnant with the twins.

Contrary to what you believe, the Hamptons is not only for the exclusive; you, too, can enjoy this summer getaway. Time isn’t on your side this summer, but you can make plans for next year. ☺

The Hamptons provides a great escape from the overly congested city of New York. It is just hours away and offers access to numerous public beaches, quaint little villages with quintessential Hamptons-style. If you’re like me, window shopping is about all you will do, but that’s still great fun.

We had a lovely day at the beach.
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I’m not sure about playing in this stuff
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It doesn’t taste too good either
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The first lighthouse in New York State.
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We watched the sunset at the beach then settled in for the night. It was a LONG night. The kids were restless. They are horrible sleepers when not in the comfort of their own beds. In fact, this trip is making me reconsider overnight trips. They were awake before the sun even had a chance to kiss the sky.

We grabbed breakfast from
Pierre’s in Bridgehampton. An ABSOLUTE MUST despite the exorbitant prices. Personally, I recommend dining in for breakfast and ordering the French Toast. It may not sound like much from the menu’s description, but it’s THE BEST French Toast I’ve ever had. Its so fresh and just melts in your mouth leaving you wanting more with each bite. Before you know it, you’ve devoured the entire thing! You might even be tempted to order a second.

We drove to Sag Harbor and had breakfast at the pier, watching tiny boats to mega yachts depart for their adventure. It was a lovely morning. It’s always a great Saturday when you wake with nothing on the agenda and a view like this.

With stomachs full it was time for a different view. We were off to the beach in Montauk but opted for Amagansett Square to unwind before our drive home.

Always putting on a show 🙂
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We feasted on cold refreshments and snacks from Mary’s Marvelous . I recommend their mango smoothie and the CHOCOLATE CHIP MUFFIN is to die for!! If you are a chocolate lover, it is worth every single calorie.

The strawberry smoothie was rather delicious too. My boy didn’t want to share with his sister.
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In total agreement with my two year old, “I wish we had a beach house so we wouldn’t have to go home” 😐

~TOODLES~
Stacey

What A Wonderful Day, Mom!

A Sunday afternoon in Georgetown, Washington, DC; what could be better? Nothing, besides hearing my daughter’s sweet little voice repeatedly saying, “WHAT A WONDERFUL DAY, MOM” as we played in the gardens.

It was, in fact, quite a wonderful day because we left the twins at home with their dad.  It felt wonderful being out with just her.  We had a quick picnic, courtesy of Wendy’s; played soccer, chased butterflies and even birds.  We were careful to sneak up on the birds and we didn’t tell the rabbits. Shh

The grounds were much smaller than I expected, but nonetheless, worth the trip.  It was very quiet, at times feeling like you were experiencing the wonders of your very own garden, except a more manicured one.  I would say plan no more than two hours for your visit.  Just enough time to relax and recharge before your next adventure.

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It was only the hottest day of the year with temperatures feeling like almost 110 degrees.  In the cool of the shade it was quite a lovely day, but every step in the sun felt like five steps in the desert. It was time to cool off.

Georgetown Waterfront Park seemed like a great local as any, and less than fifteen minutes away.  I’ve driven many times to and from Georgetown University Hospital when I was pregnant with our first child, but had no idea what I was passing along the way.

As I drove, anticipation was building. Great shops and beautiful restaurants adorned the streets. There’s something here for everyone.  There are lots of garages to park in or you can scurry for free parking at the end of K street.  There’s a three-hour limit Monday through Saturday, but free on Sundays.

This park is a great place for a run; your little ones will enjoy splashing around (be sure to bring bathing suits) and the views aren’t so shabby either.  It’s a great place to paddle board, kayak or just people watch.  I recommend a trip in the late afternoon; bring some snacks and a blanket for some good family time, then send the kids home and enjoy a date night with your honey or even just ice cream and a stroll.  I haven’t been here to watch the sunset but can only imagine how beautiful it would be.

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And, in honor of National Ice Cream Day, how could we resist 😉

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More Sundays should be made of these.

Today was a wonderful day!

~TOODLES~
Stacey

Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden

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You could and probably will get lost in time here, like we did.  Two hours should be sufficient to tour the grounds said the young ladies as they checked us in. Five hours later and we didn’t even see the entire garden 🙊🙈 We were one of the first visitors and probably one of the last ones there, but we had the best time!

The Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden, located in Henrico County, Richmond VA, was recently voted the 2ND BEST PUBLIC GARDEN in NORTH AMERICA by USA Today readers.  It is definitely worth the cost of admission!

The butterfly exhibit is the perfect place to showcase your inner Sherlock Homes. Daily at 10 a.m new butterflies are released. Come and watch caterpillars metamorphose into gorgeous butterflies or simply enjoy them flying around in their natural habitat. I dare you to not get wrapped up in this excursion. I dare you!

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The smile only a butterfly landing on your head can bring
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There’s so much to see here and I now realize I have way too many photos (what else is new) to share despite not experiencing the entire garden, so stay tuned for the next chapter in this series.

Listen, if there was a photo rehab, I would be a permanent vacationer. Lol, I’ll be the first to admit, I have a photo problem but don’t you enjoy living vicariously through my camera and or phone lens?

I digress..

Part two of the series will be up later this week. See you soon!

~TOODLES~
Stacey

Don’t forget to like, comment and or share. Let me know you’re out there!

Soul Sista

Yesterday evening I met the most AMAZING little soul.  I ran out to get a swimsuit for our impending trip to Ocean City.  Here I was perusing the home department at HomeGoods/ TJ Maxx store when our eyes locked on these beautiful white flower planterimage

The picture does no justice.

I checked the price and said not meant for me.  I checked out other flower pots while she pondered.  We joked about the prices at $99 saying…$79…better yet $59.  She was still pondering.  I said to her nothing haunts us like the things we don’t buy and she smiled.

Then our conversation turned to PARIS. Well, buckle your seats honey. I was in for a treat. If you don’t know already, I am OBSESSED with ALL things Paris. Ever since I was a little girl Paris have been at the top of my list. I still haven’t visited, I can only dream of the experience she had. OOH LA LA!

She spent 90 days, yes NOT 9 but 90 days in Paris. I clutched my heart. I myself had to confirm she did in fact say 90 days!! Her son surprised her with an all expense paid trip for her birthday. What an amazing son! Batman are you paying attention? Lol

She traveled alone. I can only imagine what leisure she had. Not attending to anyone’s needs but her own for three whole months! Again I can only dream. During her extended stay, she visited nine different countries including

Other things discussed during our almost two hour conversation was our love for Hawaii, ballroom dancing, party planning and just our overall love of adventure.

We kept saying goodbye but neither of us would walk away. We finally said our good byes when these teal party decor caught my eye. She told me she was decorating her room with teal, deep chocolate brown and ivory. She also encouraged me to buy it all. Lol I rationalized it by saying well its my birthday in three weeks👅 Hubby it’s not my fault 😉

Talking to her was like seeing into my soul. She had such spunk. Such tenacity. Such grace. She wants to learn French. She said you should see me when I cleaned up honey. Oh I clean up! I don’t dress like an old lady. There’ll be plenty of time for that. Lol

Ms. Ann it was my ABSOLUTE pleasure meeting you.  Such a young soul at the tender age of 71. I hope one day through my experiences I can motivate someone to grab life and just LIVE honey.

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Sorry for taking up so much of your time but she has left such an imprint on my heart. My soul sister. I will forever be thinking of this little lady and pondering what adventures she’s undertaking.

If you made it to the end, thanks for reading.

Special thanks to the family of those who have made the ultimate sacrifice.

I hope you have a great Memorial Day weekend.

HELLO SUMMER….what adventures will you take?

~TOODLES~
Stacey

Now That’s A LAYOVER

Before Anthony Bourdain started The Layover Show, we had a 23 hour layover of our own in London, England.  I sure wish we had some recommendations from him but what’s done is done.

When you think of London, you think of dreary-wet days; well, the day of our layover was definitely the exception. We couldn’t have dreamed of a better day if we tried.

We landed at Heathrow, hopped on a bus to the train station, checked into our hotel dropped off our bags and we were off to explore. It wouldn’t be the same without riding the double-decker bus.

It was National Remembrance Day. We had no idea what was going on when we saw the crowd. We missed The Queen and the changing of the Guards, which was a bit disappointing, but there was so much to see and so little time and we were determined to see it all.

There’s so much more to experience, but for now I live through these pictures and wait for our second trip.

WithLove