Hola, Bonjour, Hallo, Ciao, Yεια σας…Hello, Europe!

passport picture4 months later, and the longest Instagram teaser imaginable, and I’m finally “ready” (aka…found the time to write this post) to share our very exciting travel news! Did my title give it away already?!

WE’RE MOVING TO EUROPE!!

Yes, you read that correctly. Me & my husband, with both kids in tow, will be taking a year long dream Europe trip, beginning in Madrid, Spain.  Did I mention we leave in 2 days? (AHHHHHH!!!)

Let me break down the details, because I know you’re wondering how in the hell this madness all started…

*6 months ago, just barely home from the hospital from having Harper, my husband and I were joking about our dream Euro trip and basically asked each other “why aren’t we doing it yet?” After throwing around every reason why we COULDN’T go right now, we eventually came to the realization that there would never be a “good” time to go, and made the (insane) decision to do it despite every road block. For the next few weeks we let our decision soak in a bit. We worked out the logistics (work commitments, etc) and discussed timing for selling our house, cars, and much of our furniture.

*2 months ago we began selling – if it wasn’t a keepsake, irreplaceable, or just loved dearly, then it was being sold. We lived in a nearly 4000 sq. ft. home, and let’s be real, I didn’t need 90% of the “stuff” I owned. Everything we kept was boxed up and put into 4 “pods” to be stored while we’re away.

*1 month ago we listed our house for sale and within 3 hours of being on the MLS our house SOLD!! We actually signed all our closing documents yesterday and said our teary goodbyes.

This was the “get your ass in gear” moment when we realized we needed to do a LOT before we could leave the country. It’s been the busiest month of my life. We sold a lot (including both our cars), packed a lot, squeezed in all our doctor appointments (well checks, vaccines, etc), canceled subscriptions, forwarded mail, cancelled utilities, booked flights, researched Madrid, booked our AirBnB, mapped out transportation, researched travel cribs/strollers/luggage/etc., and so much more. Our life is being crammed into two small suitcases, 2 backpacks, a stroller, and a travel crib. That’s it. It’s a tight fit.

OK, so where are we going?

First up is Madrid, Seville, Ronda, and then we’ll travel along the coast and up into Barcelona, Spain. Around September we’ll head north into the San Sebastian area of Spain, and then continue into France. Outside of our locations in Spain, we’ve pre-booked our stay in Paris in December-January. The beauty of our trip is the flexibility we’re allowing ourselves; traveling with 2 kids is hard, and following a strict schedule is even harder, so we’re picking locations and making our way to them at whatever pace best works for us as a family at that time. We are only booking our AirBnB’s a few weeks in advance, with the exception of holidays (christmas, new years, my birthday in paris). Spain, France, the United Kingdom, Netherlands, Germany, Belgium, Austria, Prague, Switzerland, Croatia, Italy, Ireland, Greece, and the Greek Islands are all on our “must see” list. We will be utilizing Europe’s amazing public transportation on our trip and all of our travel will be by plane, train, bus, and walking. No taxis. We are not even packing carseats. Of course if we find ourselves in need of carseats, they can always be purchased!

I know this is just a quick peek into our big adventure plans, but I promise to continue breaking down the details (what we packed, posts on every location, tips for traveling with kids, travel gear must-haves, breaking down the budget, etc) and take you along on this exciting journey. In addition to this blog, my husband and I will be posting travel specific posts over on Traveling With Two! You can subscribe via e-mail to receive updates and post-notifications.

We are currently living out of the JW Marriott in downtown Austin and enjoying a few days of staycation before the 12+ hour flight with our kids on Friday.  Oh, and today’s our 5 year anniversary! What a week, amiright?! :-)

Happy Wednesday, friends!

XO – Samantha

Photo Updates – The last 2 weeks.

Hello Lovelies!

I promised to update with pics from my last 2 weeks, so here goes!

Over the long weekend we took advantage of Camryn’s time off from school and went to San Antonio to a resort & spa and had ourselves a little “staycation”. They had a “river pool” that you could float around on, and Camryn was all about it. We had some cocktails (mocktails for the ladies) and lounged in the sun, ate s’mores in the evening, ran around on the golf course, and just had a nice couple of days as a family of 3.
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Before leaving San Antonio, we hit the zoo. It was a mild 105 degrees out…even the animals were hiding underwater…

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Those aren’t rocks, they’re HIPPOS!

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Camryn and I were home for 3 days before getting back on the road to Louisiana. My mom has (very generously) been watching our yellow lab, Aly, for the last month and a half while we were traveling. She lives in North Carolina so we met halfways-ish in New Orleans to make the doggy drop/pick-up. My sister, Camryn, and I drove all the way to N.O. and back in 24 hours…my mom made an even longer trip, ALONE (she’s a rockstar), in 24 hours. We’re all a little insane. Before we left Camryn needed to be a cat, naturally.vacay12 Y’all know I didn’t leave without getting a beignet first.vacay13 Look at this happy girl!!! :-) She’s been missed terribly. We celebrated our BFF’s (dogs) birthday yesterday, and pulled out all the stops to wish her a very happy day.vacay23Right before our trip to New Orleans, I started getting sick. Camryn had been sick a few days earlier (Thanks for that preschool!) and of course I caught it. I also started having horrible morning sickness again. I’m gonna go into labor still throwing up, I swear it. :-(
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My husband surprised me with these little beauties a few days ago – each gold bar has one of our daughters names on it – Camryn & Harper. I’ve had a lot of interest in where he purchased these, and the answer is Nordstroms, and they are Moon & Lola brand, but don’t appear to be available anymore. Bip & Bop do an equally beautiful version.vacay17

I ordered this amazing shirt from my girl Charisse from Pixel Paper Hearts and finally got around to showing it to y’all on Instagram. It’s quickly become my favorite, and since I ordered a unisex medium, my husband steals it too.vacay16

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And what’s a post without a little bit of this cutie girl?! Some days I just look at her and think “how is it possible for you to be so damn cute? Neither your dad or I is even half that good looking!”vacay21 vacay19 And these two… Harper is a lucky girl to be coming into a world where these two exist, because their love is so incredible, I just know she’ll be smooshed between them someday and be one very happy and very loved little lady!vacay18So there you have it, my last 2 weeks in a nutshell…all the eventful stuff at least. I have about 20 posts to put together for you guys of things I’ve been adding to my list. So many awesome new products that I’m dying to share, a few DIY’s, nursery updates, pregnancy updates, bump fashion, etc. Let’s see if I can get my s#!t together soon and do those. Ha!

There’s a pretty awesome giveaway happening on Instagram today that I’m a part of, so go check that out if you’re interested. 20 girl bosses, 20 awesome prizes, 20 winners. Does it get any better? Oh, and NO reposting or tagging. BOOM!

XO – Samantha

Let’s go to the beach…

pool bag.jpg…and by beach, I really mean the pool!

Anytime I leave the house, especially with Camryn in tow, I have to make sure I have all the essentials. The pool is no exception. With that said, I also don’t want to be hauling around a million products that I don’t need, because a wet toddler is already a handful enough! Here are my must-have pool/beach bag items. Lets start with the most obvious – a good pool bag. I got mine last year from Barnes & Nobles for $10 with the purchase of a book. It’s large, easy to clean, and came with a palm tree keychain that was Camryn’s jam for weeks. *Winning* I always pack a sun hat, water (add cucumbers to stay hydrated and reduce swelling), and a good book or trashy magazine. My mom and I have both been wanting to read The Fault In Our Stars, so I bought it yesterday for her to read while she’s visiting, and then I’ll read it after she finishes.

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1. Camryn has fair skin, and I’m trying to not look old yet, so a good sunscreen is a must. I bought the La Roche-Posay Anthelios XL 50+ spf UVA/UVB oil in Paris last fall, and instantly fell in love with it. It’s geared towards sensitive skin, or people with a sun allergy. It claims to prevent sun spots, especially in pregnancy, and is water-resistant and hypoallergenic. I feel extremely safe putting this on Camryn’s skin, as well as my own pregnant belly. It feels incredibly hydrating, and has prevented sunburn even in the 100 degree texas weather. It’s unfortunately not sold in the U.S. but can be bought through Boots and shipped internationally.

2. Supergoop facial serum is one of the only daily sunscreens that I can use without noticing a build-up of oil and acne. It’s lightweight, less fragrant than other facial SPF’s, and hydrates my skin while fighting discoloration in my skin. I use this everyday before applying my makeup, and apply it multiple times while hanging out at the pool.

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3. My beloved wet brush. I couldn’t live without this brush. I have extremely thick, long, and curly hair that tangles if you look at it the wrong way. A day in the pool or at the beach does serious damage to my hair, and I’d be helpless without my wet brush. It’s less than $10, and it does the job of an army on my tangled tresses. Every lady should own one. Enough said.

4. A hair mask – really any good hair mask will work, this is just what I’m trying to use up. It’s a great product, and I especially like the DermOrganics argan oil, but it’s not one that I’m saying will change your life. If you have long hair, or color treated hair, do yourself a favor and pack a deep conditioner. Your hair will thank you.poolbag2.jpg

Last but not least, a cute headband and hair tie to keep your moisturized hair off your face, and a pair of sunnies. My black & white striped headband is from Little Big Dreamers (and is actually Camryn’s, but dangit it looks cute on me!), and my sunglasses are from House of Harlow (no longer available). I love taking these in my beach bag because they don’t press down on my cheeks like some sunnies do. I hate when sunglasses touch my cheeks and get makeup or sunscreen all over them, and leave red lines on my cheeks. Camryn loves these glasses too, and has been seen sporting them here, and here. :-)

What do you keep in your beach bag? Tomorrow I’ll share my beach bag “beauty essentials” that take me from sweaty beach bum to bronzed babe in minutes.

My mom is flying in today, and will be staying with me for 10 days, so I won’t be posting on Thursday, but you can catch me back on Friday. Side note: Moms are the best, aren’t they? I called her a few months ago, right after getting pregnant, in full-blown panic mode stressing over my house being cluttered, and needing to purge before baby #2 arrives…she booked a flight that week and is coming to be super-mom and help me organize and have a garage sale to get rid of things we don’t need before bringing in new furniture and baby stuff. Best. Mom. Ever. She is also the queen of laundry, so I may have stopped washing all my clothes last week in anticipation of her arrival. ;-) Outside of making her do days and days of hard labor (like painting Camryn’s room, and the nursery) we’ll also be enjoying a few pool days, ballet classes, pedicures, and movie dates.

XO – Samantha

Napa Valley Vacation (in pictures)

Hello Loves!

I was away all week enjoying a slower paced life in Napa Valley with my husband, daughter, and mother-in-law. It was bliss!

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We started our napa trip at a few of the wineries, of course. The Hess Vineyard is one of my favorites because it houses an amazing modern art museum. I visited it last year with my sister and had to take my husband and MIL back.

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No trip to Napa is complete without a little Bouchon Bakery. I could literally live in that place and get fat. It’s heaven.

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We stopped at the Oxbow Market in downtown Napa and had some green juice. I was feeling very tired and run down and needed my greens.

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My husband, daughter, and MIL. Twinsies, right?!

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Like I said, partying in Napa is exhausting.
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Castella di Amorosa

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It was a great little getaway. :-)

As soon as I got home I stopped at Starbucks and noticed their new La Boulange menu is out. Have you guys tried the chocolate croissant yet? DO IT!!

laboulangeCoffee and pastries are my dream team when it comes to unpacking.

Hope you all had a great week as well! Lots more posts coming your way this week, so I hope you’ll stick around. I have a giveaway that includes a $200+ cash prize, as well as a big surprise coming your way soon. Hopefully within the next 2 weeks.

It feels good to be back and chatting with you all again. You make my little corner of the internet such a happy place to come home to!!

XO – Samantha

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